Juhu residents want the civic body to act against those encroaching upon open spaces in their area. The bone of contention is a plot developed by the Juhu Club Millennium. A complaint filed by the Juhu Scheme Residents Association (JSRA) – post information received under the RTI Act – said the club has not complied with civic body’s condition to keep 67 per cent of the plot for public use.
JSRA secretary Sherley Singh said, “We are being denied use of a recreation ground which is a public property. BMC’s guidelines are clear. While granting permission to owners of the club in 1998, they were told 67 per cent of the plot area should be kept open. They were also told that the area must be available for unrestricted public use ,” Singh said.
Refuting JSRA’s claims, the club’s managing director Rajeev Anand, said, “I have documents to show our dealings were legal. It is my personal property we are talking about. Nevertheless, anybody can see the documents, and we are following due process of law.”
Residents have now also asked NGOs to join the fight. Utsal Karani from Janhit Manch said, “Such clubs were given permission to develop on plots demarcated as recreation grounds on condition that two-third of the area be made available for the public. But nobody is following that rule. We are asking other citizen groups to get involved in this fight as well.”
Neera Punj of Citispace confirmed that Juhu residents have asked her to support their fight and said her organisation will do whatever it can to protect open spaces.
According to the JSRA complaint (a copy of which is with this newspaper), a part occupation certificate was granted to Juhu Club Millennium in June 2007, but the club authorities flouted most norms.
Assistant municipal commissioner (K West Ward) Ramesh Pawar said, “We are investigating and whoever has flouted rules will not be spared.”