How can you allow high-rise on plot reserved for court building in Mumbai, HC asks BMC
The state will now have to provide an alternate plot of the same size in Vikhroli, said the bench.mumbai Updated: May 09, 2017 15:37 IST
Expressing displeasure over the fact that the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) changed the reservation of a plot meant for a court building at Kannamvar Nagar in Vikhroli for a multi-purpose community centre, the Bombay high court has directed Maharashtra government to resolve the mess within a month.
As directed by the division bench of Justice Abhay Oka and Justice AK Menon, the government will have to provide an alternate plot of the same size in Vikhroli, if it failed to come out with a solution to the problem.
The bench was hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by local lawyer Shivshankar Joshi, complaining about the pathetic and dangerous condition of the magistrate court building at Vikhroli. The petitioner pointed out that the building in which court is housed at present was constructed by the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA) and is old and completely unfit to house courts. The building is essentially a commercial complex having a number of shops, including flour mills, on the ground floor.
The plot was earlier marked reserved for a working women’s hostel, and was later de-reserved for the construction of a 12-storied court building at Vikhroli. In October 2012, the state government granted administrative approval for construction of the court building on the plot at the estimated cost of Rs8 crore. In September 2015, the revised estimate of Rs25.19 crore was approved, and the work order for the construction of the building was issued to M/s. Nircon Constructions. However,the construction work did not begin as development permission had not been granted by the BMC.
What irked the judges was the fact that while ignoring all these developments, the BMC has in its revised draft development plan republished on March 27, 2017 shown that the plot reserved was for a Multi-purpose community centre, and now the proposed reservation cannot be deleted unless the entire process for sanctioning development plan for the city is completed.
The judges were further irked by the fact that the estimated cost of construction of the court building has gone up from Rs8 crore to Rs25.19 crore in six years after 2009, and further delay in construction will escalate the cost of the construction.
“Thus, the scenario which emerges now is that the construction work of the court building cannot commence immediately, although work order had been issued two years back,” said the bench. “The state government and the BMC have created this situation, making the commencement of the court building work impossible,” they added.
The court has now postponed the PIL for further hearing on June 16.