Bombay High Court/ File Photo
The Bombay High Court on Thursday expressed concern about potential encroachments on the grounds of King George V Memorial Hospital in central Mumbai and sought information from the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation to determine whether any unauthorised structures exist on the hospital grounds, stated a report in PTI.
A division bench of Justices Gautam Patel and Kamal Khata sought to avoid a situation in which encroachments escalated to the point where the hospital might be converted into a slum scheme, describing such an outcome as undesirable for the city, the report added.
Reportedly, the bench temporarily halted notices issued to the hospital trust, preventing the removal of protective fencing intended to prevent illegal encroachment. The notices were served in December 2021 and March 2022, instructing the trust to remove fences erected on its property.
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Concerned about a potential pattern of encroachments, the HC emphasised the importance of avoiding a scenario in which encroachments multiply. The court, according to the PTI report, said, "We are particularly anxious to avoid a situation where at some point in the future the encroachments become so many that we are confronted with a possible proposal to convert the whole hospital into a slum scheme. That is absolutely the last thing that this city needs,"
The court ordered BMC to file an affidavit outlining its findings from the site inspections mentioned in the notices. It sought clarification on whether unauthorised structures were observed or only the erected fences, the report added.
"In other words, we would very much like to know whether the civic body noted any unauthorized constructions or occupancies in the open spaces or only saw the mild steel fence in respect of which it has issued a notice," the court said.
The hospital trust's request emphasised the need for fencing due to encroachments threatening the hospital compound's safety and security. However, the trust expressed concern about the BMC's apparent focus on removing protective fencing while ignoring trespassers on hospital property, the report added.
Recognising this disparity, the Court noted the lack of proactive measures beyond the trust's installation of protective fencing. The case is set to be heard again on February 15, 2024.