Pune: PMC Cleared To Demolish Illegal Constructions In Greenbelt Stretch Between Mhatre Bridge And Rajaram Bridge

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Reported by Sumit Singh & Mubarak Ansari

Pune, 26th June 2024: In a significant legal victory for the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC), the Bombay High Court has dismissed a petition filed by 13 landowners seeking to prevent action against their illegal constructions in the green belt between Mhatre Bridge and Rajaram Bridge. The court’s decision, delivered on Wednesday, supports the municipal corporation’s stance that these constructions were unauthorized and must be removed.

The dispute arose when landowners constructed buildings, including large hotels and sheds for marriage lawns, within the green belt adjacent to the riverbed from Mhatre Bridge to Rajaram Bridge and in Karvenagar. These structures lacked the necessary permissions from the PMC, prompting the corporation’s construction department to issue multiple notices and take action against the illegal developments.

Despite previous efforts by the PMC, including actions taken during Diwali, some landowners continued their unauthorized activities. In response, the PMC had issued warnings and notices, demanding the removal of these illegal structures. However, the landowners filed a petition in the High Court in 2022-23, seeking to halt the municipal corporation’s actions. The court initially granted a stay on the PMC’s actions, pending further hearings.

Senior advocate AA Anturkar argued these matters along with Adv Ajinkya Udane on behalf of the petitioners in all these petitions.

During the latest hearing, the PMC’s legal representative, Adv. RM Pethe argued that the constructions in the green belt were not only unauthorized but also unsuitable for regularization. The court agreed, noting that the land was intended for non-commercial use, such as parks, nurseries, and sports activities, rather than for commercial enterprises like restaurants and hotels.

“The court observed that the construction done in this space is not suitable for regularization,” stated Nisha Chavan, Legal Adviser to the Municipal Corporation. “After hearing the arguments of the lawyers, the stay was lifted, and the petition of the owners of the premises was dismissed.”

With the court’s dismissal of the petition, the PMC’s building permission department is now cleared to proceed with the demolition of the illegal structures. Executive Engineer Bipin Shinde confirmed that the municipal corporation will take action against all commercial premises that have been illegally constructed in the green belt.

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“The way has been cleared for the construction department to take action on the construction in the green belt,” said Shinde. “Action will be taken on the places which are now being used as commercial premises.”