Sixteen properties of a trust run by jailed self-styled godman Asaram now face the risk of demolition after the Gujarat Revenue Department ruled they were constructed without converting the land for “non-agriculture (NA)” use.
Following the Revenue department’s order, issued earlier this month, the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) Monday revoked a conditional consent given to the trust to regularise these properties by paying “impact fee” to the civic body and will soon decide on their demolition.
The AMC officials said it would soon take a decision on the fate of 12 residential and four commercial establishments constructed by Asaram’s trust near his ashram in Motera here.
“Many years ago, the Ahmedabad collectorate had issued a demolition notice to the trust after it was found that the 16 properties were constructed 35 years back without having NA clearance. The trust had then filed an appeal before the Revenue department against the notice,” said R M Jadav, deputy estate officer of the AMC’s west zone,
“Simultaneously, the trust approached the AMC to regularise these constructions by paying the impact fee. At that time, we had given conditional consent saying that the AMC’s final decision would depend on the Revenue department’s order,” he explained.
The Revenue department, however, has ruled against the trust, following which the AMC on Monday revoked its conditional consent, he said.
According to Jadav, the final decision about the fate of these properties, covering an area of 12,000 square metres, will be taken after going through the provisions of the Bombay Provincial Municipal Corporations (BPMC) Act.
“We have not taken a final decision yet about demolishing these properties. We have to also keep in mind that these properties were built 35 years ago. We will go through the BPMC Act to arrive at a final decision,” he said.
Asaram was sentenced to life imprisonment by a Jodhpur court in April for raping a minor and is currently lodged in Jodhpur jail in Rajasthan. He is also accused of raping a girl in his Motera-based Ashram here.