Contractor shames BMC as they fail to clear Malad Link Road plot of encroachers

Updated: Nov 29, 2017, 09:25 IST | Laxman Singh

Contractor says he has no wish to continue with football ground project in Malad as his money has been stuck over BMC's inability to clear encroachers

After waiting for nearly six months for the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to resolve the ownership dispute over a plot in Malad West, where a football ground was to come up, the contractor has asked the civic body to end the contract, as the ground still remains encroached. Even though the civic body had demolished structures in two small sections of the plot and taken action against the encroacher, a major portion of the ground continues to remain off limits.

Two small portions of the land have structures set up by encroachers

According to the civic body, recently, the contractor, Reliable Enterprises, wrote to the BMC asking them to sort out the dispute and clear the encroachments or foreclose the contract, as the time period of the work was already over. An official said the contract period had ended in July and there had been no progress in the work since March.       

Land dispute
Last April, the BMC's Garden Cell hired Reliable Enterprises to develop a football ground opposite DMart on Linking Road in Malad West at a cost of Rs4 crore. The total area of the plot is 11,500 square metres, but the football ground was supposed to come up on 10,600 square metres. The project also included development of a children's play area, a kabaddi pitch, a walking track and a seating area. The work started in July last year and was supposed to be completed within a year. However, after completing 35 per cent of the work, BMC stopped it in March, citing a land ownership dispute. mid-day, in its June 2 report, had highlighted that the civic body had forgotten to add its name to the title of the land that it purchased in 2005. Later, some people claimed ownership of two small parts of the land and said that a court case was going on related to it.     

A BMC official said, "In September, the then ward officer and other civic officials had registered an FIR against Lala Pathan and his men for encroaching on the land and even demolished his structures. But, later, he again got the structures constructed and issued threats to the contractor."

Sources said when BMC took over the plot, it had forgotten to demarcate the area, which led to the land ownership problem. Speaking to mid-day, Dr Kishor Kshirsagar, deputy municipal commissioner of Garden Department, confirmed the development and said, "We have received a letter from the contractor asking us to foreclose the work. We are yet to take any decision on the matter as the officials of the Garden department and local ward office are trying to resolve it."

No solution at hand
When contacted, Sanjog Kabre, assistant municipal commissioner of P-North (Malad), said, "I am trying to resolve the dispute as soon as possible. I have requested the Garden Department not to foreclose the project and sought a week's time to sort out the issue. We will first demarcate the plot to get a clear picture of ownership. After that we can take further action in the matter."

When asked about the letter, Kiran Shah from the company said, "I have written a letter to the BMC to foreclose the work, as the money that I have deposited for the project is stuck. I could have used the money for some other project. There has been no progress in the football ground work for the last six months."

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