Juhu residents staged a protest against the Ronson Foundation that wants to build a club in the Kaifi Azmi Park on Friday afternoon.
Member of Parliament Gurudas Kamat also visited the spot to support the residents.
“We do not want a new club to come up here. We have Millennium Club nearby. This ground was meant for public use. They are illegally building this club,” said Dr Poornima Parekh, a resident.
The 3.5-acre ground, reserved as a playground, was given to Ronson Foundation for maintenance in 1990. But in 1998, an agreement was made between the BMC and the foundation, giving the plot to the company on a caretaker basis.
Permission was also granted to construct a recreation centre on 15 per cent of the land that should be accessible to the public.
“When the ground was given to the foundation under the care-taking policy there were over 1,300 trees but now there are less than 200. The foundation has not been looking after the place,” said Ashok Pandit, secretary of Gulmohar Residents Association.
Suhel Kusumgar, trustee of Ronson Foundation, said, “The matter is in the court, and residents have submitted an affidavit in court saying they want to develop the land. This shows wat they have in their mind.”
The residents have protested thrice over the same matter — in August 2004 when the foundation had felled 60 trees, then in February 2008 when they tried to build a wall there and cut some more trees.
The third time they had a meeting on Friday when about 43 trees were cut to give way to the club. The residents are demanding that the civic body revoke the permission granted to the foundation.