Aaquib Chhipa, Ahmedabad: Gujarat High Court on Tuesday issued notice to the Vadodara Municipal Corporation (VMC), police commissioner Vadodara and the president of Samarpan Cooperative Service Society, Manish Malhotra, in a petition filed by the residents of Samarpan Co-operative Housing Society.
The petition sought removal of the gate (encroachment) on a 9-meter town planning road falling between final plot no. 12 and 94 of the Town Planning Scheme number -22 in the society.
The eight residents, who have moved the Gujarat High Court, have sought to quash and set aside the opinion letter dated January 5, 2021, written by the Vadodara DCP to VMC.
The letter said the removal of the gate (encroachment) would lead to a law and order situation between two communities and therefore it is not feasible to do the same.
What does the petition say about VMC?
According to provisions of the GPMC Act and the Town Planning Act, no representation is required to be made to the authorities for removal of obstruction on public streets, the petition states.
Under Section 231 of the GPMC Act, the municipal authorities without any notice are empowered to remove any structure whether fixed or movable which is erected or set up on any street.
Further, since the street in question is a TP Road covered by the Town Planning Scheme, under Section 69 of the Town Planning Act, the Vadodara Urban Development Authority (VUDA) has the power to pull it down, the petition said.
On September 9, 2020, the Land and Property Department of VMC VMC had ordered the office bearers of Samarpan Society to remove the encroachment gate within 3 days. But no action or follow up was later done by the VMC.
The VMC then through a letter dated December 17, 2020, sought the opinion of the Police Commissioner, Vadodara, and the DCP responded saying the removal of the encroachment will create communal law and order problems between two communities.
The petition further said the public access road in the society has been encroached for over five months and despite several representations, no action has been taken by the concerned authorities.
This has created inconvenience for the petitioners as the road has been blocked.
The Samarpan Co-operative Society on Vasna Road in Vadodara was in the news when few office bearers of the society objected that the land was being sold to a Muslim and a Muslim was putting up construction.
As a result of the opposition, the VMC on August 17, 2020, illegally closed the gate by welding an iron grill at the center of the gate and thereby encroached upon the 9 meter TP Road of the society.
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