Bombay HC allows demolition for Mithi river widening project to proceed unhindered | India News – Times of India

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MUMBAI: The Bombay High Court vacation bench on Saturday allowed ongoing demolition work to proceed for widening of Mithi River in Mumbai to proceed and found no case made out by occupants of residential and commercial structures, to stay it or delay the developmental project, on a plea made by encroachers. The HC vacation bench of Justices N R Borkar and Somasekhar Sundaresan however granted liberty to a set of petitioners to approach the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to reconsider their ineligibility and others already eligible to opt for either alternate accommodate or compensation.
Three petitions were moved urgently overnight for a Saturday, holiday hearing citing scheduled weekend demolition by the BMC.
Since permanent demolition of premises, whether of a residence or a place of business, is a grave exercise, said the HC, it heard them. In one petition five occupants were held ineligible, in another one, and in the third, all 13 were ineligible for alternate accommodation, “suddenly, inexplicably’’ though earlier held eligible by the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) in 2013, contended their advocate Mathews Nedumpara.
The HC said the demolition was underway and noting previous orders in connected matters that had called for a survey sought to know if the process was followed after also hearing BMC senior counsel Narendra Walawalkar observed it indeed had, as all had received civic notice.
Occupants sought a stay for ongoing demolition till their appeal, against ineligibility for alternate accommodation, pending before an additional Municipal Commissioner is decided.
Earlier HC had explicitly ruled out halting any demolition, pending determination of eligibility. Nedumpara, the HC said “ fairly conceded that petitioners were not opposed to the project but want to be fairly compensated.’’ The petitioners agreed to remove their belongings in a day.
The HC directed the eligible occupants to inform the BMC in a week of their option and BMC to release the base threshold of compensation, if sought, in four weeks and also give alternate accommodation in four weeks for those who opt it. The appeals before the Addl MC will be on hold till the eligibility of petitioners is considered again said the HC and posted the petitions for regular hearing on July 1.



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