Those who could not get their homes built on disputed forest land regularised have got a helping hand from the Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court has allowed those residents, who had been affected by the forest land order but had not approached the authorities, to file a intervention petition in the next three weeks.
With the filing of the intervention petition the cases will be clubbed with the case that is presently being heard by the SC.
This would allow all parties to get benefit of the SC judgment.
Lakhs of houses in Thane, Mulund, Borivli and Kandivli were under threat of being demolished after the Bombay High Court, in March 2008, had deemed their flats illegal for being built on forest land.
Residents affected by the order moved the Supreme Court, which asked the Central Empowered Committee to give its recommendations on the issue.
The committee had submitted its recommendations to the SC in June asking for regularisation of land after paying a nominal afforestation fee ranging from Rs 6 to Rs 600 per sq ft depending on when the flat was built. The fees were to be paid before January 25.
The bulk of the groundwork for the citizens’ was undertaken by the NGOs, Hillside Residents’ Welfare Association and the People’s Power of Nation.
However, many residents affected by the order have not paid the regularisation fee or filed a petition in court.
“It would be beneficial to all affected parties to file an intervention petition in the court within three weeks,” said Prakash Padikkal, convenor, Hillside Residents’ Welfare Association.