Pune: Vadgaonsheri housing society to get back ‘encroached’ land

The Sanstha has submitted an undertaking to the Bombay High Court, saying it will demolish the school building by May 31. (Express Photo by Pradeep Kocharekar)The Sanstha has submitted an undertaking to the Bombay High Court, saying it will demolish the school building by May 31. (Express Photo by Pradeep Kocharekar)

After a long legal fight, the Grewal Cooperative Housing Society in Vadgaonsheri is likely to get back its land that was allegedly illegally occupied by Siddhivinayak Shikshan Sanstha to run a school. The Sanstha has submitted an undertaking to the Bombay High Court, saying it will demolish the school building by May 31.

The Siddhivinayak Shikshan Sanstha, a registered public trust, allegedly illegally constructed the Shivraj Vidya Mandir in 1986 in the open space of Grewal Co-operative Housing Society without obtaining the building plans sanctioned by the authority concerned and without any permission from the society itself. The society was formed well before it was included within PMC limits in 1997. While the society had frequently asked the Siddhivinayak Shikshan Sanstha to shift the school out of its land, the sanstha constructed another building on the premises in 2006 without PMC permission.

After several representations were made to the PMC, the civic body issued notices to the trust to demolish the illegal structures, which the sanstha failed to implement. Thereafter, the PMC itself decided to demolish the building, but was opposed by the trust administration and supporters, who sent the civic staff back without allowing them to take any action.

The society then approached the Bombay High Court, after which a bench of Justices S J Kathawalla and B P Colabawalla directed that the school building be demolished.

“The court accepted the request of the Trust to allow them to demolish the unauthorised school building on their own on or before May 31 and took an undertaking from the trust that they would demolish the school building on or before May 31, 2020, and remove the debris from the open space of the society and further that they would not approach any court seeking extension of time,” said Swati Gaikwad, secretary of the society.