No further construction on forest land, orders High court

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Mumbai, Mar 24 (UNI) In a setback to builders, The Bombay High Court today ordered there should be no further construction activities on forest land in areas from Borivali in the western suburbs to Bhandup and Mulund in north-east Mumbai.

Dismissing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL), challenging Government's transfer order of private forest land to forest department in the eastern and western suburbs, a division bench, comprising Chief Justice Swatantar Kumar and S C Dharmadhikari, observed that the state Government had right to take possession of the land in the areas.

In 2006, the state government had transferred private forest land from Sanjay Gandhi National Park in the western suburb to Mulund in eastern suburb to the forest department.

Builders and residents of the area had challenged the Government order in the court, stating that Government and other concerned agencies had given clearance to construction of housing colonies and industries in the areas.

The court order would affect over 1.5 lakh families, living in apartments that had come-up on forest land.

Earlier, The Bombay Environment Action Group had filed a PIL, alleging that the state government had not updated its revenue records to reflect the areas that were notified as private forests according to the 1975 Private Forests Act.

UNI ST OBB RSA RS1650

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