Will The Taj return Bandra’s 42000 sq ft?
So has the iconic The Taj Land’s End encroached upon acres of BMC land earmarked for a park?
The Taj says NO! And that the philosophy of The Taj Group does not and will never allow them to do so…”we do everything legally! We would rather not make a profit but will never do anything that’s not within the ambit of the law”
However a cursory glance at the City Survey Plan for the area shows this same spot adjacent to The Taj Land’s End as vacant and abutting the hotel but not listed as part of one of the best Hotels in Mumbai…
So where’s the problem?
The problem has arisen because right next to it are temporary shanties occupied by about 250 to 300 Project Affected Families right on the seafront with the picturesque Bandra-Worli Sealink at virtual handshaking distance.
So what happens?
An NGO that even I am associated with led by our friend Advocate Pradeep Nambiar demands to know what’s the real picture?
On Jan 19 1000 Bandra citizens demonstrated before BMC H west ward,. They demanded equitable justice, that if 210 PAP structures are being rehabilitated also free 42000 sq ft BMC recreational ground held on by Taj Lands End.
As Advocate Nambiar said “The fact is there seems to be nothing that we have been able to find in the record that shows this 42,000 square feet as having been sold to or acquired by The Taj. We are sure The Taj would have followed all procedure but where is the record?
“Further we would like these Project Affected People living in the shadow of The Taj Land’s End to be rehabilitated as soon as possible”
BMC is beautifying Bandra fort, Band stand and Bandra Reclamation. Its a dream Project of BJP MLA Ashish Shelar. Mr Shelar said,” The process of floating tender will start from first week of February, along with beautification there will be a cycle track. PAP structures will be rehabiltated.’
The architect for the same naturally is Hafeez Contractor (why is no one surprised?)
The residents of Project affected 210 tenements said they want to be rehabilitated in Bandra not Mahul Village.The AMC H-West ward said that it would try and accomodate the affected people in Bandra itself, if the Houses are available.
Anil Upadhyay- Gen Sec ICGS- NGO said that there is fear among the people , spread by anti social elements that the poor tenements would be demolished. While we are not against development there has to be equitable justice for thepoor and the rich.
Pappu Singh office bearer ICGS said, “the cut off date for PAPs have to be decided by Government, in New Mumbai Airport case it was 2013….justice should prevail..”
Asif Farooqui, Bandra Resident ( and Congress sympathiser) said that the area not handed over by Taj Lands End should be taken over by BMC and should be open for Public at large.
The AMC- H West ward Mr Sharad Ugade, has marked the complaint to DP department for further action
So will the city get its 42000 square feet back?
And has it really been sold to The Taj Group?
We still await a proper statement from the BMC