Dismissing petitions filed by builders, the Mumbai High Court stated that all the constructions on the 120 acres in Bhandup, Mulund, Borivli, Dahisar and Thane were illegal and built on reserved forest land. About 19 petitions filed by builders challenging the state government’s decision to notify land, including that near the Borivli National Park, on which their housing township projects were coming up as reserved forest area was dismissed by the Mumbai High Court. After the state revenue department notified the land as forest land, BMC had issued stop work notices to the developers whose construction projects were coming up on the said land. In Mumbai, these projects were coming up at Ghodbunder road, Thane and area surrounding the Borivli or Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP) including suburban areas of Mulund, Nahur, Goregaon, Borivli and Dahisar. The history goes by that in the year 1956, the Maharashtra government had issued notices demarcating plots as forest lands. Lack of follow up by the government to the notices issued, private developers moved in and constructions sprung up in the area. According to the Private Forest Act of 1975, notices had to be issued within six months after declaring the land as forest land, whereas the government issued notices to the land owners only after a decision of the Mumbai High Court on a PIL filed in the year 2001, which was almost 30 years late. Although it would be the decision of the court on the undergoing construction of these 120 acres, the petitioners are all set to challenge the judgement in the Supreme Court. Bureau report – NMTV.
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