Published on: 23 September 2022 at 21:25 IST
An appeal against the planned demolition of a resort on property once owned by Shiv Sena MP Anil Parab of the Uddhav Thackeray faction has been filed with the Bombay High Court.
Sadanand Kadam, the petitioner, has rejected the Ministry of Environment, Forest, and Climate Change’s (MOEF & CC) order to demolish Sai Resorts NX.
In May 2017, Kadam had acquired the relevant land parcel from Parab.
The Maharashtra Regional and Town Planning Act’s Sub-Divisional Officer authorised the conversion of agricultural land for non-agricultural uses in September 2017.
Despite the fact that the site was primarily intended for personal use, Kadam chose to create a resort in Dapoli in light of the city’s growing tourism industry.
Kadam emphasised that the building on the land was still under construction and not being used for either personal or professional reasons.
According to the petition submitted through Vidhii Partners, various fictitious and baseless accusations and actions were brought against Parab in relation to the land around 2020–21 as a result of political disputes with Parab.
One such complaint resulted in a notification from the sub-divisional officer dated June 22, 2021, indicating that the structure is unlawful and in violation of the law and should be destroyed.
The notification was contested in civil court, but it was upheld.
Kirit Somaiya, a BJP leader, filed a complaint with the National Green Tribunal (NGT) in July 2021, alleging that the commercial project had violated the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) standard.
It was noted that his request for its demolition as well as the beginning of criminal procedures against Parab and others was still pending.
The District Collector, Ratnagiri, is said to have issued a suo motu decision in December 2021 that reportedly reviews and revokes the order from September 2017 transferring the land to “non-agricultural” usage.
The Collector also issued a show-cause notice while an appeal against this order was still underway, requesting an explanation as to why the MOEF should not order the destruction of all buildings and roads leading to the subject land.
Kadam later learned of an Office Memorandum (OM) issued by the MOEF that set forth instructions, including the removal of the entire structure and the return of the land to its previous condition.
The Maharashtra Coastal Zone Management Authority (MCZMA), the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB), and the State Environment Department received this OM for a report on the actions taken.
In addition, the MOEF established a joint committee to determine the financial cost of the environmental harm brought on by the CRZ violation. The joint committee allegedly sent the MOEF an action report without giving Kadam the chance to be heard.
In an email to MOEF in August 2022, the District Collector drew attention to the civil court’s stay order as well as the ongoing NGT proceedings.
In response, Somaiya wrote a letter to MOEF, once asserting that the ongoing procedures had nothing to do with the OM and that the Collector was free to proceed with his or her course of action.
Despite the fact that no more actions have been taken, the petitioner filed a High Court petition to have the OM and subsequent letters sent to the MCZMA and MPCB quashed.