Owner of establishment challenges Mumbai Suburban collector’s notice before Konkan divisional commissioner, receives relief for now
The Sun Beach Resort in Gorai on April 19, 2021. File Pic/Nimesh Dave
After the Bombay High Court on April 26 ordered that illegal structures that are part of the Gorai’s sea-facing Sun Beach Resort be razed—a direction which the BMC is yet to implement, the collector’s office has issued a notice to the establishment’s owners for illegally constructing a swimming pool and several rooms on land that belongs to the government..
On July 12, the Mumbai Suburban collector's office issued an order instructing Abdul Hamid Mapkana Shah, the owner of the resort, to demolish the structures within seven days of receiving the notice or the collector's office would initiate a demolition drive. However, the resort owner has challenged the order before the Konkan divisional commissioner (KDC), who has instructed the collector's office to maintain the status quo.
“CTS no. 40 belongs to the state government. The resort owner has constructed a swimming pool and nearly 20 to 25 air-conditioned rooms on the sea-facing plot that belongs to the state government. Structures built on government plots need to be demolished. If the owner fails to demolish them, the collector's office will hold a demolition drive and recover the cost incurred on the same from the owner,” the order issued by the collector's office reads. mid-day is in possession of the order that has been issued by Shraddha Chavan, deputy collector, encroachment removal, Borivli.
In the order, the collector's office mentions that the owner has submitted a light bill as proof of ownership, but when the office inquired about the bill from the power company concerned, it was observed that the connection was obtained on August 26, 2021. “This means that construction was done recently. Also, the applicant [resort owner] was given time to exhibit documents to substantiate his ownership and furnish land records accordingly. But, during the hearing of the case, when applicants were asked about steps taken by them to get these documents, it was observed that no such efforts were taken by the applicant.
The Bombay High Court order has paved the way for the BMC to demolish illegal structures constructed by the resort on private land that belongs to the applicant,” the order reads. In April 2022, mid-day was the first to report on allegations and complaints about Sun Beach Resort for carrying out construction activities, allegedly in violation of civic norms and Coastal Regulatory Zone (CRZ) rules.
Following several complaints to the Mumbai Suburban collector's office and BMC about the resort blatantly violating CRZ norms and civic rules, the state and civic administration swung into action. On February 10, the collector's office had also issued notices seeking an explanation from 18 resorts/hotels in the area, including Sun Beach Resort, over violation of norms. Then too, the collector's office had observed that seating arrangements near/along the seafront, swimming pools and nearly 20 to 25 air-conditioned permanent rooms had been built in violation of norms and on land belonging to the state government.
Speaking to mid-day, Vijay Mishra, who sees to the day-to-day functioning of the resort, stated that they have contested the notice issued by the collector's office. “The divisional commissioner's office has instructed that the status quo be maintained and it will hear the matter on August 24,” he said.
Day KDC will hear matter