HC seeks ownership details of Navi Mumbai airport project land

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Mumbai, Jan 24 (PTI) The Bombay High Court today directedthe Maharashtra government to produce all files concerningownership of a 157-acre land in Navi Mumbai, which is includedin the international airport project coming up there.

The files were sought by a division bench of Justices P BMajmudar and Amjad Sayed in a petition filed by the City andIndustrial Development Corporation of Maharashtra Ltd (Cidco).

Cidco has in its petition sought that the governmentshould not revert the 157 acres land to Bhiwalkar family, whowere the original owners. The government had acquired the landin 1950s.

According to Cidco, the government had handed over theland to them in 1973 under the Maharashtra Regional TownPlanning (MRTP) Act.

"The land belongs to Cidco as there has been no orderafter 1973 from the state government seeking them to hand overthe land back. This land is right in the middle of the newinternational airport coming up in Navi Mumbai. A runwaypasses through this land," Cidco''s counsel V A Thorat argued.

Since 1860s, the land originally belonged to Bhiwalkarfamily. After independence, the government took over the landunder the Forest Act and the family was awarded compensationfor the same. .

"However, in 2005, the government in the petition filed by the Bhiwalkar, conceded that the land belongs to thefamily. The government has already paid compensation then howcan they (Bhiwalkars) seek ownership to the land," Thoratargued.

Opposing this, Mahendra Ghelani, counsel for GangaramBhiwalkar, argued that only the redevelopment right was passedto the government and that their proprietary rights were notextinguished.

Cidco''s petition seeks that High Court should declarethat Bhiwalkars are not owners of the land. Besides, it seeksthat it should be held that the property permanently vestswith the government, which is transferred to Cidco.

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