The 582 flat-owners of Netaji Co-operative Housing Society in Wanwadi staged a protest against the transfer of 11.5-acre of land, which is lying vacant in the society premises, to the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA) yesterday.
The Maharashtra State Housing Corporation Limited (MSHCL), which had developed the society in 1978, has transferred the land to MHADA. However, when the MHADA officials reached the society to build a fence around the land, residents, along with local Shiv Sena MLA Mahadev Babar staged protest and shouted slogans against the housing body. To control the situation, the police had to detain 40 residents and the MLA, who were taken away from the spot and were released after some time.
“In 2011 we came to know that the MSHCL is in the process of transferring the land to MHADA. Hence, we filed a case in the local court and sought injunction against the transfer of the land. However, the court ruled out our plea in March this year,” Nandan Bhavkar, secretary of the society. He added that the society has now filed a petition in the High Court, and the matter is sub judice. “As the final hearing is scheduled to be held on June 14, the MHADA officials can’t acquire the land till then,” he said.
Meanwhile, the chief officer of MHADA, Rajendra Nimbalkar, said that as the lower court has given the judgment in MHADA’s favour, residents can’t claim ownership of the land. “In October 2010, the state government had ordered that the land should be transferred to MHADA from MSHCL. As per the order, it was legally transferred in November 2011. Now these people claim that they own the land, but they don’t have a single document to substantiate their claim,” Nimbalkar said.
After the plot was developed, the MSHCL was supposed to hand over the vacant land to the residents following the formation of a society. “It never happened. When we approached the authorities, they said that they would handover the land after we cleared the home loans that we had taken from HUDCO. Despite clearing the loans in 2007, they refused to handover the vacant land to the society.