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Mumbai civic body notice to 5 open spaces maintained by private groups

None of the five opens spaces that were issued notice belong to any politician

mumbai Updated: Aug 23, 2017 01:57 IST
Eeshanpriya MS
Eeshanpriya MS
Hindustan Times
Mumbai,Open spaces policy,BMC
BMC issued notices to two recreation grounds, one playground, a garden (all in Bandra) and one playground in Sion, said Jitendra Pardeshi, superintendent of the garden department. (HT photo)

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has sent notices to five open spaces maintained by private groups on Tuesday, as part of its process to reclaim 42 such plots.

The notices have issued to two recreation grounds, one playground, a garden (all in Bandra) and one playground in Sion, said Jitendra Pardeshi, superintendent of the garden department.

Last year, the BMC began to take back 216 open spaces that it had leased out on to private organisations and citizens’ groups for their upkeep. So far it has managed to reclaim 174, before it stopped issuing notices to the remaining plots. While the civic body said it wanted to take back the remaining, but would wait till the policy was in place. The remaining 42 open spaces are in the custody of senior BJP and Sjiv Sena leaders.

However, none of the five plots belong to any politician.

However, most prominent open spaces — such as Swatantra Veer Savarkar Udyan in Borivli and Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Kridangan in Kandivli (both maintained by BJP MP Gopal Shetty’s Poisar Gymkhana) and St Xavier’s ground in Parel, which is with the Mumbai District Football Association — have excluded from the list of 42 plots.

Last month, chief minister Devendra Fadnavis directed the civic body to take these 42 open spaces into its custody, once the state legislature’s monsoon session ended. “At a meeting, Fadnavis directed the civic body to fast-track the process of reclaiming these plots. We don’t expect any resistance, as we took over the other 174 plots successfully. However, a caveat was filed in the high court on Monday,” an official had said.

A few of the politicians who own these plots had asked the BMC to compensate them for the money they spent to maintain these open spaces. However, civic officials said there was no such agreement in place.

“There is no reason why these plots were not taken back earlier, it’s just that they were last on our list,”an official from the BMC’s garden department had said.

First Published: Aug 23, 2017 01:57 IST