Three south Mumbai resident associations have filed a public interest litigation (PIL) against political parties and the state government for allegedly encroaching on the Nehru Garden at Nariman Point right outside the Mantralaya as it is marked as a recreation ground on the development plan (DP).
Currently, the garden, which covers an area of 72,000 square feet is under the public works department (PWD) and is occupied by the Bhartiya Janata Party office (2,626 square feet), Janata Dal office (1,334 square feet), Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation office (4,376 square feet), Employment Exchange barrack (4,028 square feet) and the Zunka Bhakar Kendra (171 square feet), the petition says.
The case is likely to be taken up in the Bombay high court on August 16, 2013.
Hindustan Times had reported how one of the structures on the garden plot occupied by the Bhartiya Janata Party, that was allotted a temporary barrack in 1980 by the PWD, despite having no permissions for redevelopment, was constructing a permanent brick and mortar structure which it was served a demolition notice in April 2013.
The PIL filed by petitioners Nariman Point Churchgate Citizens Welfare Trust, Oval Cooperage Residents association and the Federation of Churchgate residents demands the demolition and removal of all encroachments and structures constructed in the Nehru Garden and to restore the said garden as a green space.
All parties that hold offices at the garden plot, have been made respondents.
In the PIL, the petitioners have said the government and national level political parties have a duty and responsibility to uphold the law and to ensure that public spaces are preserved for the benefit of citizens for whom they were intended.
The petition also points out the reservation of parking space on public roads done by both the BJP office and the MTDC which is illegal depriving public of the same. The petitioners have requested that illegal parking not be allowed on Madam Cama Road or Jivan Bima Marg.