The stay order was issued after the neighbouring Galaxy Society, which equally shares ownership of the open space, moved the court.
The court prima facie observed that the space of the society, which is being rented out as a commercial marriage lawn and a private sports club, is an open space as per the approved layout map.
It has been alleged that the 40,000-square feet open space jointly belonging to Kausar Baug and Galaxy societies is being given for commercial purposes without the consent of residents. It also claimed that space is actually reserved as a playground for children.
Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) had already sent notices to the managing committee of Kausar Baug after receiving complaints from the residents for allowing the commercial use of property without any permission from the Building Development and Control Department, which is mandatory before starting any construction on land or changing its use. They claimed that as per the Maharashtra Municipal Corporations Act, 1949, and Development Control Rules ‘open space’ needs to be kept ‘open to sky’.
Galaxy Society chairman Nisar Attar, said, “We have managed to bring the status quo against the possible development of the plot as a commercial lawn and a club. Not only residents of Kausar Baug society but also residents of our society oppose the move to allow such activities without consent. We equally share the part of this open space, but still our kids were denied their right to play here.”
Advocate Aftab Khan, representing Galaxy Society, said, “Seeing the unauthorised marriage hall and sports club is going to eat the open space of the kids, the petition was filed. No such commercial construction is allowed as per DC rule. We learnt that PMC issued a notice of demolition against the illegal structure but the Kausar Baug society committee has taken a stay order against the demolition. Galaxy residents jumped into this case and compelled the court to intervene in the larger interest.”
As per the initial complaint, the managing committee did not consider the protests from other members and took a one-sided decision during the lockdown without the nod from residents. No valid permission from the PMC was taken while starting the construction and changing the status of the land.
The said open space is part of recreation space reserved exclusively for society’s purpose. The residents further claimed that the commercial work will create several issues such as law and order, trespassing, parking, security etc.
Countering the claim, A Rehman, chairman of Kausar Baug society, said that everything is being done as per the law. “Some of the members are unnecessarily complaining due to their vested interest and opposing such a noble project.
The upcoming sports club will be utilised by children in Kondhwa and surrounding areas where sports such as football, basketball, baseball among others will be played and it will help to nurture new talents.”