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Leaders hold on to prime land

THE ASIAN AGE. | BHAGWAN PARAB
Published : Nov 25, 2017, 3:14 am IST
Updated : Nov 25, 2017, 3:16 am IST

Plots given to them escape new recreational ground policy.

The plots will continue to remain with the leaders.
 The plots will continue to remain with the leaders.

Mumbai: While the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is planning to implement its new interim recreational ground and playground (RGPG) policy, which disallows commercial use and construction on open spaces, nine prime plots that have been given to politicians under the earlier caretaker policy will escape the new policy and continue to remain with these leaders.

According to civic officials, these plots have not been included in the interim RGPG policy. “They have been given on a lease for a period of 30 years and it has not expired yet. So they will continue to be with the trusts.

During the Sena-BJP rule in the state between 1995 and 1999, several open plots under caretaker policy were allotted to the trusts affiliated to politicians like Kamla Vihar Sports Complex, Mandapeshwar Club (both in Borivali), Prabodhankar Thackeray Complex (Vile Parle), MIG Club (Bandra), Matoshree Club (Jogeshwari), Dahisar Sports Foun-dation (Dahisar), Welli-ngton Club (Santacruz), Ronson Foundation (Juhu) and Prabodhankar Krida Bhavan (Gor-egaon). Most of these are run by trusts backed by senior politicians belonging to the Shiv Sena-BJP alliance.

One of the major grievances of the citizens was that the open plots given away to trusts controlled by political parties were used for constructing clubs and restaurants. Several violations such as illegal constructions, misuse of space, commercial use and restrictions on the entry of citizens were also found at these plots.

Open space activist Nikhil Desai from Matunga said these plots should be taken over by the BMC. “Since the BMC has scrapped the earlier caretaker policy, the plots given earlier under this policy should also be taken back and given as per the new policy.”

Meanwhile, out of 216 open spaces that were issued notices to hand over, the BMC is yet to take back 29 plots.  “We will take over these plots and the process has been started. If the organisations are interested in the new policy, they should apply for tacking back the plots. The decision will be taken by the BMC committee on this,” said the official.

Tags: bmc, rgpg