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Mumbai: Rs 3 crore fine for fruit market on playground

Updated on: 25 June,2024 07:00 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Sanjeev Shivadekar | sanjeev.shivadekar@mid-day.com

Owner alleges corruption, says will legally contest BMC notice

Mumbai: Rs 3 crore fine for fruit market on playground

Apna Fruit Market in Borivli West. Pics/Nimesh Dave

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The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has imposed a fine of Rs 3.07 crore on Apna Fruit Market, which has allegedly been set up on a plot reserved for a playground off Link Road at Shimpoli near Chikuwadi in Borivli West. The action by R Central ward office comes following a complaint by advocate Mukesh Gupta who had urged the civic body to impose a fine on the plot owner or occupier or vendors who had set up wholesale and retail fruit stalls on a reserved playground plot.


Last year, mid-day had reported about a letter sent by two state cabinet members—Sanjay Bansode, minister for sports and youth welfare, and Aditi Tatkare, who holds the women and child development portfolio—to the BMC administration asking for removal of the encroachment and that the ground be used for its intended purpose. After mid-day’s report, Gupta wrote a letter to the BMC administration asking the civic officials to recover revenue loss that the corporation has incurred due to the ongoing fruit market business on the plot.



On June 21, the R Central ward office issued a notice to the owner/occupier of the plot
On June 21, the R Central ward office issued a notice to the owner/occupier of the plot


Gupta's letter stated that in 2016, permission from BMC was sought to construct a temporary structure on the plot to hold a fruit exhibition. “While permission was given for the temporary structure, the setup was never dismantled and the fruit vendors continued their business for over seven years,” Gupta said. Citing revenue loss to the civic administration, Gupta demanded that the BMC should not only recover the revenue loss it has incurred for over seven years but even levy a penalty on those running the business.

After pursuing the case for several months, on June 21, based on the instructions of the Deputy Municipal Commissioner Bhagyashree Kapse, the local ward office (R Central) issued a notice to the owner/occupier of the plot to pay a penalty of Rs 3.07 crore within seven days of receipt of the notice. “The owner/occupier is hereby instructed to pay a fine within seven days from receipt of this letter failing which further necessary action will be initiated,” the notice reads. mid-day is in possession of the notice issued by the BMC.

In September 2023, BMC had issued a speaking order stating that documents submitted by owner/occupier were not satisfactory and could not be considered as proof/documentary evidence to prove the authentication of the structures. “Structures are not authorised or approved by the competent authority of the BMC. Hence, you (owner /occupier) are directed to remove the structures within 24 hours from the date of receipt of this speaking order. Failing which the same will be demolished by the BMC at your (owner/occupier) risk and cost (sic),” the notice further read.

‘Will legally contest notice’

Irked with the notice, the owner of the plot, Rita Dadarkar, spoke about legally contesting the notice and alleged that the BMC is mired in corruption and her case is no different. Further, questioning the BMC for not seeking any response earlier in these six to seven years, Dadarkar said, “Were BMC officials sleeping for all these years? BMC never issued a notice for collection of any charges for structures or even any reminders for recovery of dues . All of sudden, one morning, Civic authorities woke up and sent a notice for recovery of R3.07 crore. How does the civic body know what structures existed in 2016? Do they have any proof for the same?”

Official Speak

Sandhya Nandedkar, assistant commissioner, R Central ward, confirmed that the recovery notice had been issued to the owner/occupier of the fruit market. “A recovery notice has been issued. If the amount mentioned in the notice is not paid, it will be sent to the assessment department for addition of the same.”

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