Nagpur: A bench of Bombay High Court here
came down heavily on the Maharashtra government for delaying
action against encroachers, including a state minister, at
Bezonbaug in north city area.
A division bench of justices Bhushan Dharmadhikari and
Pramod Kode on Thursday directed the government to file an
affidavit regarding action taken to remove the encroachers
before August 1.
Animal Husbandry minister Nitin Raut is alleged to
have not only grabbed land, but also occupying three other
An 80.90-acre land originally belonging to now-defunct
Empress Mills was reserved for housing the Mill`s workers. The
land was later taken over by the state and the housing society
of workers came out with a plan layout for houses.
It is mandatory to earmark 15 per cent area of a plot
as open space and 5 per cent area marked as public utility. It
was this 20 per cent land that was encroached by Raut and
Earlier, an enquiry conducted by district collector on
the high court`s directive had revealed that the office
bearers of the society had illegally sold those plots.
Local residents made several complaints to the state
government but no cognisance was taken. Finally petitioners
had approached the court.
In July last year, the Nagpur bench of the high court
had directed the government to remove illegal encroachments
and hand over the land to Nagpur Municipal Corporation for
public utility purpose.