The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation has directed its N-Ward office to issue a notice to the Prajapita Brahma Kumaris Ishwariya Vishwavidyalaya, asking them to vacate their ashram on a corporation-owned ground in Ghatkopar for flouting rules and not clearing dues.
The spiritual organisation has been running its Ghatkopar centre on a portion of the Acharya Atre ground for past several years as per BMC's adoption and caretaker policy. Under the policy, the occupier is required to maintain the open space.
According to the order dated July 4, the ward office has been ordered to ask Brahma Kumaris to move out of the plot within seven days. dna has a copy of the order.
The order comes in the backdrop of several complaints by locals, including corporator Rakhee Jadhav, who have accused the organisation of carrying out unauthorised constructions.
Even though its agreement with the BMC expired in 2004, the latter could not take possession of the plot because of a stay on the adoption policy granted in 2007 by the Maharashtra government.
"We are happy that the civic administration has finally decided to take back its space. The ashram did not let locals use the ground. It offers restricted entry into the compound even though the same is owned by the BMC," said Jadhav.
The corporator alleged that the ashram had carried out illegal constructions on the premises such as a compound wall, extra rooms, offices, halls, passages and garages. She also said that the ashram had not cleared its water bills.
The BMC notice reads, "The playground is not cleaned by the trust and debris is found dumped at the ground's north east corner. Accordingly, a show cause notice was issued to the trust." The notice also talks of some pending property tax bills.
Brahma Kumari Harsha of the Ghatkopar ashram refuted all the allegations mentioned in the BMC letter. "We haven't flouted any norms. We also have the required permissions for all the work carried out on the ashram premises," she said.
Denying receipt of any show-cause notice, she said, "We haven't heard of any such notice."
The organisation had earlier drawn flak for allegedly detaining a minor boy, who went to collect a ball thrown accidentally into the ashram premises. This had led to cross-complaints involving the boy and one of the ashram members at the Pant Nagar police station. Dna had on May 19 reported that the organisation had 58 centres across Mumbai of which 11 were on BMC-owned plots.
Assistant municipal commissioner of N ward Vijay Kamble said he won't be able to comment on the issue as it was his weekly off.