Plots reserved in the development plan for educational institutions cannot be used for any other purpose like rehabilitating unauthorised occupants, the Bombay high court told the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) on Tuesday.
“Enough of accommodating this and that,” said the division bench of justice DK Deshmukh and justice Anoop Mohta while hearing a petition filed by Balak Vihar Vidya Trust.
“There is no question of using the plot for any other purpose,” the bench noted, adding, “The occupants will not be accommodated on this plot because it has been reserved for a municipal primary school as per the development plan,” the bench said.
The remarks came after counsel for the trust, Milind Sathe, pointed out that a builder had proposed a rehabilitation project on part of the plot.
The trust had challenged the BMC’s decision to allot the plot at Mahim admeasuring 2,253 sqm to Balmohan Vidya Mandir Trust. The petitioner alleged the plot was allotted to them in November 1989, but the BMC cancelled the allotment and gave the plot to Balmohan Trust in July 1997.
The petitioner contended the civic body’s decision was politically motivated and arbitrary. Counsel for the civic body, AY Sakhare, however, pointed out the BMC’s 2001 policy to utilise all plots reserved for educational purpose. However, they were allowed to build only educational institutions on the plots.
The bench found the policy in tune with a recent constitutional amendment that guarantees right of education to children aged 6-14 years, and dismissed the petition.
However, counsel for the petitioner trust, Milind Sathe, argued that a scheme to rehabilitate some of the plot’s occupants would come up if it were allotted to them. He pointed out that a builder had already prepared a proposal for a slum rehabilitation project.
Alerted by the apprehension, the judges warned the BMC to rehabilitate the occupants somewhere else and utilise the plot only to construct a municipal primary school. Senior advocate Sakhare then informed the judges that the BMC will construct the school on the plot.