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Shahrukh house in heritage storm

Mumbai, Sept. 23: Actor Shahrukh Khan’s bungalow, Mannat, is back in the eye of a storm with a Bandra resident filing a public interest litigation to stop him from developing a plot behind the heritage property.

The PIL filed by Cyril Mecwan in Bombay High Court last week says Khan’s bungalow in Bandra is a heritage building and construction in its vicinity is barred.

A heritage property cannot be renamed, the petition adds, pointing out that Khan had bought the bungalow Land’s End in 2000 and changed the name to Mannat.

The petition says the actor is constructing a building on a plot exactly behind Mannat and adds that this area was earlier reserved for an art gallery.

The plot was de-reserved in 2003 by the Vilasrao Deshmukh government.

According to Bollywood sources, Khan was planning to move his office into the new building and had offered flats and production offices to close friends, including Karan Johar and Farah Khan.

The PIL hearing is scheduled for October 5.

This is not the first time the bungalow is in the eye of a controversy. When he moved into Mannat, the actor had run into trouble with the heritage authorities for making modifications to the property.

BJP leader Gopinath Munde said: “The government has been selling off plots reserved for public amenities'. It is a serious issue, especially after the July 26 deluge. The government has since stayed de-reservation of 27 of 67 plots meant for public purposes, but Shahrukh’s plot does not figure in them.”

The actor could not be reached as he has left for California to attend an awards ceremony. “He is not in town. We cannot offer a comment on this,” his secretary said.

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