Whistling Woods: Govt to take back land in 2-3 days

“I spoke to CEO of Whistling Woods Ravi Gupta twice on the phone yesterday,” said Tagade on Thursday.

Written by Kavitha Iyer | Mumbai | Published: April 6, 2012 1:21:59 am

Acting swiftly following the Supreme Court verdict on land allotted to Bollywood film director Subhash Ghai by the Vilasrao Deshmukh government in 2000,the state government is set to take back land from Ghai’s Whistling Woods International in the next two-three working days.

Shyam Tagade,Managing Director of the Maharashtra Film,Stage & Cultural Development Corporation Ltd,which runs Filmcity,said he wrote to Whistling Woods on Wednesday asking the institution to hand over possession of 14.5 acres of land immediately. Procedures were also initiated on Wednesday evening to requisition City Survey officers for a physical demarcation of this land,a portion of the 20 acres allotted to Ghai in 2000.

“I spoke to CEO of Whistling Woods Ravi Gupta twice on the phone yesterday,” said Tagade on Thursday. “They have agreed to act as per the High Court order.” Survey officials from the Mumbai Suburban Collector’s office will assist in marking out the 14.5 acres which will be taken into the government possession immediately. Tagade said this could take,at most,up to a week’s time. “We are trying to do this in the next two to three days,” he said.

A Supreme Court bench of Justices C K Prasad and H L Dattu had on Wednesday ordered Ghai to return to the government all 20 acres allotted to his film school and pay rent for the period since 2000 at market rates. The Bombay High Court order had directed that simple interest also be levied. The SC order said Ghai had been treated like a “blue-eyed boy”.

Sources said the immediate implementation of the Bombay High Court order after it was upheld by the apex court on Wednesday was ordered by CM

Prithviraj Chavan.

The remaining 5.5 acres on which the institute building stands will remain in the possession of Whistling Woods until 2014,when the currently admitted students complete their courses.

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