BMC backs citizens, asks trust to return Juhu plot | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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BMC backs citizens, asks trust to return Juhu plot

mumbai Updated: Mar 19, 2011 01:03 IST
Bhavika Jain

In what could be termed as a major victory for citizens fighting for open spaces, the civic body has issued a notice to a private trust asking it to return a Juhu plot, which was given under the caretaker policy.

In a long-drawn fight, Juhu residents have alleged that the Ronson Foundation has been misusing the 4-acre recreational ground.

The notice was sent to the trust on Thursday after an internal report by the local ward office and the development plan (DP) department found glaring irregularities in the agreement with the private trust.

HT has done a series of stories, reporting the violations.

“The trustees of the Ronson Foundation have been given 7 days to reply,” said a civic official.

The BMC staff had conducted a tree census on the plot and found out that of the 1,300 trees that were on the plot, only 438 are remaining. Maintaining the number of trees on the plot was one of the clauses in the agreement, which has been violated.

The other observation made in the internal report is that the agreement made in 1998 was not ratified by the civic general body, making it null and void. Additional municipal commissioner Manisha Mhaiskar confirmed that the notice had been sent.

“This decision has restored our faith in the system,” said Ashoke Pandit, secretary, Gulmohar Area Societies Welfare Group.

Sohail Kusumgar, trustee of the Ronson foundation was unavailable for comment.