The long awaited Govindwadi bypass project will not complete anytime soon, as the land owners who are affected by the project alleged that the authorities have cheated them. They have now decided to approach the Bombay high court and bring a stay on the project. Once opened to public, the bypass will ease congestion at Shivaji Chowk in Kalyan (West) by diverting the traffic.
The cowshed owners, with the help of local activist Sreenivas Ghanekar, have decided to fight a legal battle against the Kalyan-Dombivli Municipal Corporation (KDMC) and the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC), authority supervising the bypass project.
A legal notice was been served to the Maharashtra State Urban Development Department (MSURDD), KDMC, MSRDC and the vice-president and managing director of MSRDC.
“We have not received any compensation for our ancestral properties. The civic commissioner had assured to provide land at Wadeghar in Kalyan, but nothing has been done so far,” said Iqbal Karte,68, owner of cowshed, adding, “We are not against development, as we know it will benefit the common man. But here, we are cheated which is why we have decided to raise the issue.”
The Kartes alleged that the land at Wadeghar has private ownership, although it is reserved by the civic body. The civic body has neither acquired the land nor has its reservation to residential.
Shed owners alleged that the bypass is be illegal because the sanctioned development plan states that the property of the cowshed owners won’t be affected, while the corporation had changed the alignment of the road, thus affecting their properties.
“The family [Kartes] approached me saying that they were cheated. I studied their case and decided to help them with legal procedure to get their compensation. We have already started the legal proceedings — to approach the court and stop the bypass project,” said Ghanekar.
He added that the corporation has failed to comply with the terms of settlement. “The said land is not in the possession of KDMC. Also, the civic body has not mentioned clearly regarding the area of the land which will be given as a compensation to the family during the previous general body meet,” added Ghanekar.
Speaking to HT, a KDMC officer said, “We have received the notice from the land owners and we are looking into it. We will fight legally for the project and make sure that it is completed.”
The project had been facing hurdles since it was initiated in 2011. One of the major hurdles was a cow shed on the 1.6-km long stretch. The shed owners, reluctant to hand over their 3,80-metre property, had approached the court earlier. However, the project got a push in January 2015 after the municiapl commissioner managed to convince the owners and assured adequate compensation.
Civic chief E Ravendiran had announced that he had convinced the land owners with a settlement of providing a land in compensation at Wadeghar. In January, the civic body razed the cowshed and started working on the remaining 200-metre stretch of the bypass. However, the cowshed owners alleged that the KDMC has failed to compensate them.
Currently, one lane of the bypass is completed and a trial of vehicular flow is going on. The civic body had plans to complete the work for other lane by the end of December 2016 and open the bypass for public by this January. The civic body has missed several deadlines already in the past.