The BMC will seek legal opinion on whether it can acquire from Juhu Vile Parle Development (JVPD) housing societies plots reserved for public amenities.
Also, it turns out, two of the seven plots for which the JVPD society has served a purchase notice to the BMC, is owned by BMC. In 1960, about 430 acres of land located in Juhu village and Vile Parle, were transferred to 14 JVPD housing societies by the then Bombay Housing Board.
Now, the JVPD societies have served seven purchase notices to the BMC, which means the BMC needs to buy these reserved plots in order to keep them reserved as public spaces.
If the BMC does not buy the plots within 12 months from the date that the purchase notice was served, the reservation will lapse and the owner of the plot is free to decide how to use the land according to the Maharashtra Regional and Town Planning Act, section 127.
Over the years, two plots reserved for gardens were taken over by the BMC and developed as public gardens.
“Legally, the JVPD societies cannot serve a purchase notice for these two plots, measuring around 11,000 sq m, since they are owned by the BMC,” said a BMC official on condition of anonymity. “The municipal body is the official owner of these plots according to the property card,” he added.
On Monday, the civic Improvement Committee decided to seeks legal opinion.
“If the plots are for public amenities, they should be handed over to the BMC free of cost. The purchase notice that the society has served is totally illegal,” said Upendra Doshi, a member of the committee.
“Many members have opposed the society's move. The proposal will be sent to the civic legal department for its opinion,” said Manoj Kotak, chairman of the committee.
Harit Desai of the JVPD society, said: “I can prove these plots are owned by the society, and we want the plots either deserved or returned to us. If the BMC wants to use them for a public purpose, it should acquire the plots and compensate the society,” he added.