The tract of contention. A Telegraph picture
Calcutta High Court on Thursday gave the civic body eight weeks to clear the confusion over the nature — tank or land — of the 11-bigha plot at 32 Canal Circular Road.
In his order, Justice Jayanta Biswas also said: “The Calcutta Municipal Corporation is directed to settle the issue by setting up a commission. The commission will hear all the parties involved in the case.”
The nature of the 11-bigha plot came under the court’s scanner following a showdown between residents of Purbasha Housing Estate and Mani Group, after the developers made a move to build a boundary wall around the watery tract.
According to the high court, no construction work can be carried out before the civic body gives an explanation about the real nature of the plot.
“The civic commissioner, however, has the liberty to take any decision relating to preservation of the plot,” observed the judge.
“We have learnt about the order and started preparations to resolve the issue. The court has given us eight weeks. If required, we may pray for more time,” mayor Bikash Ranjan Bhattacharyya told Metro on Thursday.
Meetings were held at the civic headquarters to decide on the commission. But it was not finalised whether the commissioner himself would head it or delegate the authority to someone.
Thursday’s order was passed following a petition by Mani Group, seeking the court’s intervention to “identify” the contentious plot before construction of a boundary wall.
Moving the plea, Mani Group’s counsel Anindya Mitra told the court that the civic body had allowed his client to register the land. “They have already applied for the mutation of the plot, which is under process. My client wants the civic authorities to identify the plot,” said Mitra.
Opposing the petitioner’s prayer, Ajit Panja — representing the residents of Purbasha Housing Estate Association — claimed that the petition was not maintainable in court.
“The petitioner could have approached the civic body for identification or demarcation of the area. Without approaching them, they cannot move the high court,” he argued.
Panja claimed that his clients had protested the violation of law in a peaceful way, but were subjected to inhuman treatment by securitymen at the site. “They unleashed dogs and even fired at them,” alleged Panja.