Nagpur SCZCC in controversy with Railways over piece of land

Nagpur Jn (NGP): The Nagpur SCZCC is locked in a land controversy with Central Railways and PWD. The bone of contention is a 2½ acre plot of land situated right behind the Centre. Though PWD is custodian of this land and has started work on it, Central Railways too had started construction on one portion which was stopped by an order of the SDM on Wednesday.

Claiming that this land belonged to Central Railways, DRM Brijesh Dixit told “We have stopped the work only because we wish to clear all doubts. A portion of the boundary wall between this land and the adjacent one has been broken only to get in the construction material.” The Railways are building residential quarters on the plot.

SCZCC Director Ravinder Singal said that demand for this additional land had been made first on July 19, 2011. “Currently, we have 3.8 acre land with us. But, considering rising footfalls and increase in number of cultural activities, we are short of space.” The SCZCC wants the additional plot to build art gallery, open air theatre, work sheds for artisans and a studio and dormitories for artisans.

The 7769.689 sq m plot is shown in the name of Nazul Sarkar JE Lokkarma Vibhag in the property card. The entire plot is landlocked and is surrounded by SCZCC, Deshpande Hall, a mosque government residential quarters. The application for transfer of land to SCZCC is lying with the revenue department for want of an NOC from PWD.

“When the demand had first come to us this plot was marked for a convention centre. But now the project has been shifted to Wardha Road,” VR Banginwar, the PWD superintending engineer, told.

Guardian minister Shivajirao Moghe on Tuesday afternoon also directed all concerned authorities to hand over the land to the Centre. On Wednesday, the SCZCC received NOCs from NIT and NMC. “The entire area is marked under developmental plan and is reserved as residential area. However, the land can be used for cultural and educational purposes and since SCZCC takes up cultural activities we have no objection to their acquiring it,” municipal commissioner Shyam Wardhane told.

Sunil Gujjalwar, the NIT chief Engineer, too confirmed that an NOC had been issued by NIT for this purpose.

But PWD doesn’t seem to be in a mood to relent. “The guardian minister will send a letter to revenue department and we will get a copy of the same which we will forward to our higher authorities.” said Banginwar. “We are planning to use that area as an extended parking lot for Deshpande hall,” he added.

PWD minister Chhagan Bhujbal has called a meeting on Thursday to discuss the issue.