In an interim order, the Bombay High Court (HC), has ordered the Pune district collector to initiate the process of demarcating the boundaries of ‘red zone’ (no-development area) around Dehu Road Ammunition Depot.
The order was passed by a bench of two judges on Monday, while hearing a writ petition filed by Shiv Sena corporator Seema Savale.
The petition accused the Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) of violating red zone code around the Depot.
Savale, in February last year, had obtained documents and copies of letters by the army’s Southern Command to the civic body urging it not to allow constructions in the prohibited ‘red zone’ around the Depot.
Savale, in her petition, accused the PCMC of proceeding with construction of 11,760 tenements in Sector 22 of Nigdi under the Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA) scheme.
She also alleged that the civic body had carried out the project under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM), in the ‘red zone’ around the ammunition depot.
As per the Works of Defence Act, 1903, land within 2,000 yards of a defence establishment should be kept free of any constructions.
The HC ordered the district collector to complete the survey of the land around the Depot and map the ‘red zones’ around the area and submit the report before the HC by September 18, 2012.
The court also asked the civic body to file a reply to Savale’s allegations that the SRA project was being undertaken without obtaining environmental clearance, before next Wednesday.
Directing the civic body not to issue occupation certificates or allotment letters to the buildings in the area without prior permission of the court, it also stated that development on the disputed plot will be “at their own risk as to the costs and consequences thereof, and they are required to remove the construction at their own costs, if the court so directs at the final disposal of the petition and no equity can be claimed at a later stage.”
The Centre allocated Rs225 crore for the project, which started in 2007. Savale alleged that the PCMC had violated the Works of Defence Act, 1903, and the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986.
She also alleged that the PCMC had kept the central government in the dark about the ‘red zone’ when it sent the proposal of the SRA project for approval.