Already engaged in legal battles to save open plots from encroachers, the civic body will now find itself battling in court for failing to protect and reclaim an open plot reserved for municipal school and playground.
In its July 23 issue, Hindustan Times had reported how despite instructions from the Bombay high court and the Supreme Court, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) had not taken any steps in the past 16 months to reclaim its 61,750 sqft plot at Cuffe Parade.
Next week, advocate Makarand Narvekar, an independent corporator from Colaba, will file a public interest litigation (PIL) in the Bombay high court against the civic body’s negligence towards the issue.
The current market value, along with the permissible FSI, brings the total cost of the plot to Rs 700 crore.
“The civic administration is purposely delaying the matter, claiming it to be pending with the collector. As per the court order, the land should continue to be with the corporation as stated in the government resolution of 1980. The civic is not willing to take action so that it can gift the land to private parties,” said Narvekar.
Mohan Adtani, additional municipal commissioner, told HT that the civic body had sent six to seven letters to the collector asking the state to hand over the land.
“Even if we consider administration’s reply as a truth, then why has the civic body not approached court to claim its right in past 16 months?” questioned Narvekar. The state government had leased the plot to the BMC on March 12, 1980 to build a municipal school on 50% of the area and a playground on the remaining land. But owing to financial constraints, the civic administration could not build the amenities.