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Juhu trust issued notice over plot, told to remove equipment

The Juhu residents’ seven-year campaign to save four acres of open space in their neighbourhood has borne fruit. Prajakta Chavan reports.
Hindustan Times | By Prajakta Chavan, Mumbai
UPDATED ON MAR 03, 2011 02:07 AM IST

The Juhu residents’ seven-year campaign to save four acres of open space in their neighbourhood has borne fruit.

Last week, the municipal corporation’s building proposal department issued a show-cause notice to Ronson Foundation for allegedly misusing a recreation ground, which was given to it under the caretaker policy.

The department also directed the trust to not carry out any construction activity there.

The foundation has removed all equipment and machinery from the ground, confirmed Neeta Bajpai, a Juhu resident.

The corporation had given the recreational ground to Ronson Foundation for development and maintenance in 1990.

But recently the foundation had reportedly started building a club and underground parking slots on the ground and had axed more than 800 trees to make space for the same.

After learning of the alleged construction activity, the residents had approached municipal commissioner Subodh Kumar in January.

The Development Plan (DP) department, which carried out investigations, found various irregularities in the trust’s agreement with the civic body.

An internal report compiled by the DP department mentioned that the trust doesn’t have a valid commencement certificate for any construction on the plot. On February 26, the Hindustan Times had reported on the report.

In the show-cause notice, the deputy chief engineer of the building proposal department of Bandra (West) has asked Ronson Foundation to explain why the development permission granted earlier should not be terminated. The copy of the show-cause notice is available with the Hindustan Times.

“Earlier, we had brought to the corporation’s notice how Ronson Foundation has violated the contractual norms over nine years. The corporation has issued only a show-cause to notice to the trust, but the residents want the lease to be revoked. Now, the BMC also has grounds to do so,”said Sanjay Hegde, chairman of the Gulmohar Area Societies' Association.

Ronson Foundation’s trustee Sohil Kusumgar was not available for comment. He also did not respond to text messages sent by the Hindustan Times.

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