The city could lose out an open space of 7,144 sq meters, reserved as a recreation ground in Juhu, if the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) doesn’t get its act together in the coming 11 days.
Opposition parties in the civic body have now joined hands to save the open space and have demanded that the mayor call an urgent special meeting to clear the proposal of purchasing the plot before the December 3 deadline.
Rajhans Singh, opposition leader in the BMC has written a letter to the mayor Shraddha Jadhav, with the signature of other three members of the civic standing committee, to call a special general body meeting on the issue.
Singh said the plot is reserved for public amenities and should be purchased for public interest. Niyaz Vanu, Nationalist Congress Party leader, is one of the members of the standing committee, who has signed on the letter.
As per existing laws (section 36 of the BMC Act, 1888) the mayor has to call an urgent general body meeting if any four members of the standing committee make such a demand.
The civic body had not initiated the process to purchase the plot worth Rs 63 crore by paying the owner as per the Development Plan, despite the owner issuing a one-year notice in December 2009.
The owner can take back the plot if the BMC fails to purchase it by December 3 following due procedure. If that happens, the city may lose one more open space reserved in the city's development plan.
The open plot at JVPD scheme in Juhu was reserved partially for a recreation ground and partially for road. Manoj Kotak, chairman of the civic Improvement committee, also wrote a letter to Mayor reminding her about taking up the proposal before the general body meeting.
There is another plot in Juhu that the BMC needs to purchase which has been reserved for an international library. However, the deadline to purchase this 2,980 sq m plot worth Rs 18 crore is February 18 next year.
“We can smell something fishy in the issue. Jadhav has not called a meeting even though we wrote to her ten days ago, which means she has a vested interest in the issue,” said Rajendraprasad Chaube, a Congress corporator. Jadhav was unavailable for comment.