Builder may lose security deposit for violating terms of garden adoption scheme

From ET Realty

MUMBAI: In fresh trouble for Ajmera builders, the Maharashtra Lokayukta has recommended to the BMC that the developers‘ security deposit of Rs 15 lakh should be forfeited for reportedly violating the terms of the garden adoption scheme. Justice (retired) M L Tahaliyani, who heads the anti-corruption ombudsman, directed the corporation to throw open the garden near Bhakti Park, Wadala, to the public.

“Since the organization has committed a lot of breaches of the agreement, the security deposit is recommended to be forfeited,” said the Lokayukta, and asked the BMC to put up a prominent board on Anik-Wadala road with the information that the public can enter the garden for an entry charge of Rs 2. The Lokayukta’s new order comes close on the heels of its order last month directing the corporation to seal a playground in the same area that had been given to the developer on adoption basis.

Dhaval Ajmera, director of the realty company, told TOI they were awaiting a copy of the order. “We will consult on the legal options once we receive a copy of the order,” he said.

Three open spaces near the Bhakti Park layout in Wadala (East) were given on adoption basis to Vijaya Nagar Housing Society in 2002. The builder, who was assigned power of attorney to develop land in the area, was also required to maintain the open spaces as per the terms. The public was to be given access to the garden on payment of a nominal charge and no political or cultural activities were permitted. Reports in the media last year revealed that while one ground had been locked up, the second was being used as a garden, with the public charged Rs 20 for entry. A third was being used as a cricket academy.

The cricket academy on the playground was being used by the elite, the authority said, adding that the common man was not seen using the grounds. “As such the very purpose of the agreement has been frustrated,” the lokayukta had said.

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