HC issues notices to Bhiwandi Mayor and others

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Mumbai, Nov 2 (UNI) The Bombay High Court today issued notices to Bhiwandi Nizampura Municipal Corporation, its Mayor Javed Dalvi and others over the construction of a commercial complex-cum-vegetable market on Finance-Built and Transfer (FBT) basis by a private firm at Bhiwandi in district Thane.

The division bench comprising Justices J N Patel and A Sayed issued notices, returnable on December 18, in response to a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by Azaz Akbar Agha and others alleging that plot no 54 was reserved only for the construction of a vegetable market but the same was handed over to a private firm on FBT basis without following the proper norms.

Advocate S Kudle, appearing on behalf of the petitioner, contended that as per the provision of the Bombay Provisional Municipal Corporation Act 1949, the Corporation and others were not authorised to transfer the land vested with the Corporation for any purpose other than the one which was specified in the development plan.

He also argued before the Court that the Corporation was not even entitled to enter into an agreement with anybody on the basis of FBT without taking an approval from the Government as well as the general body of the Corporation.

The petitioner prayed to the Court to direct the Corporation to cancel the agreement made between them and the private firm and also direct them to construct only a vegetable market for the rehabilitation of the small vegetable vendors.

He also prayed to direct the state to hold a probe in this regard and disqualify them for six years from contesting the elections.

Responding to the petition, the Municipal Commissioner has also filed an affidavit praying to the Court to dismiss the petition on the grounds that while giving the contract for the construction of market, the Corporation had taken due care of the vegetable vendors and 139 ''galas (stalls)'' will be handed over to them free of cost.

According to the affidavit, the grant of lease to the respondent is not in violation of the BPMC and the contract was given after an approval from the standing committee and after following the procedure prescribed by law.

UNI

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