Residents of Juhu and Vile Parle will be able to enjoy more public amenities in their area soon, but Mumbai will pay a heavy price for it.
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) on Thursday decided to acquire four plots in JVPD Scheme at Rs 478 crore.
The four plots are reserved for developing public amenities — such as garden, playground, market and library — as per the Development Plan.
The civic improvements committee cleared the proposal to buy the plots from the original owners at the rates recommended in the state’s Ready Reckoner.
The BMC decided to purchase the plots from JVPD Cooperative Housing Association, a group of 14 housing societies that have held the plots since 1960, after the society served purchase notices to the BMC asking it to pay the estimated market price and take buy the four plots.
The notice was served under section 127(1) of the Maharashtra Region Town Planning Act, which states that citizens and societies who own reserved plots can claim ownership of a plot if it is not acquired by the authority within 10 years of the DP’s inception.
If the BMC does not acquire the plot in less than 12 months after it gets the purchase notice, the reservation lapses and the plot is available for the use of the owner.
Though the civic administration has accepted that as per property card records, the plots are with the JVPD Cooperative Housing Society, members of the improvements committee such as Upendra Doshi now want the BMC to check whether the Association or Mhada actually owns the plots.
The JVPD scheme plot was owned by the Mhada, which leased it out in 1957-58.
Manoj Kotak, chairman of the committee, said: “Had we not started the process of purchasing the plots, the delay would have resulted in the BMC losing the plots meant for public amenities.”
Not everyone is happy with the civic body’s move. Mangesh Sangle, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena leader in the BMC, said: “Will the common people benefit if the plots are acquired by paying crores of rupees?”
The proposal will now be tabled in the BMC’s general body meeting for final approval.