Juhu locals put up fight to save open plot from squatters

Written By Unknown on Sabtu, 31 Januari 2015 | 22.23

MUMBAI: For a city starved off open spaces, activists from Juhu fear the loss of another open plot in the prime area of the western suburbs. An open plot besides Nakshatra garden they claim has been encroached upon and several show case notices send from the office of K/West ward have failed to yield any results. Members of the NGO Save Open Spaces (SOS) said that what surprises them further is that the encroachers have even started renting out the plot for functions including marriages.

NGO SOS said that in a meeting with the local MLA Ameet Satam, they had brought the issue to his notice as well. "There are very few open spaces left in Mumbai and watching this plot which already has a Play Ground reservation on it, be taken away is very disheartening. As citizens we are fighting to get this plot freed from encroachers, but the authorities too should understand that this is not the citizen's job and hence they should take action against the encroachers," said Ashoke Pandit of SOS.

When TOI visited the spot on Friday, it was learned that the encroachers were giving away a 26,000 sq feet plot for ceremonies like marriages for Rs. 1.12 lakhs. "Who are these encroachers to give away the land, and charge the public for it? If action is not taken immediately the encroachment may increase is what we fear," said Pandit.

The local MLA Ameet Satam from the area said that he had visited the spot in the last week of December and found that it was a government owned plot. "The citizens have brought the issue to my notice and we have been pursuing the matter so that the encroachments be pulled down and removed immediately," said Satam.

The BMC -Assistant Municipal Commissioner of K (west) ward Parag Masurkar, said they were aware of the encroachments and had served a notice as well. "There are certain temporary structures which have been erected and after our notice they have submitted certain documents which we would be verifying and taking the necessary steps," said Masurkar.

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