What is happening in Mumbai?
Government and land sharks rule the roost.
Citizens mislead regarding legality of possession.Can they be evicted and lose their flats?
Mumbai HC blow to 1.75L owners of flats built on forest land
Prafulla Marpakwar | TNN Mumbai:
The Bombay high court on Monday dismissed some leading developers’ petitions challenging the stop-work notice issued to them by the BMC for constructing flats on private forest land in blatant violation of the Forest Conservation Act.
The immediate impact of the court order will be felt by an estimated 1 lakh flat owners as well as people who have paid for approximately 75,000 flats under construction on private forest land in the Bhandup-Mulund-Thane and Borivli-Kandivli belts.
The stringent Forest Conservation Act bans nonforest activity on private forest land. ‘‘The fate of people who own these flats or have bought under-construction flats now hangs in the balance.
The only option they now have is to approach the Supreme Court. We, on our part, plan to submit a remedial plan to the apex court to protect innocent persons who may have bought flats being constructed on this land,’’ a senior forest official told TOI.
The issue of private forest land was first taken up by the Bombay Environmental Action Group, which filed a petition, prompting the high court to ask the government to submit revenue records of private forest land. The forest department told the BMC and all district collectors to take action according to Forest Conservation Act provisions after the exercise was over.
Stop-work notices were soon served on people indulging in non-forest activity (construction) on private forest land. This, in turn, prompted a section of leading builders to move the high court, which stayed the BMC order.
The forest department subsequently filed a special leave petition in the Supreme Court. But the apex court sent back the SLP to the high court, saying it should be disposed of within a specific deadline