The Maharashtra State Biodiversity Board (MSBB), through its member secretary and principal chief conservator of forest, on October 7, had returned the proposal sent by Aurangabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) as it did not carry the 7/12 extract of the Mughal-era garden and GPS polygon. The proposal also did not demarcate the boundaries of Himayat Bagh, among other deficiencies.
While hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) seeking the biodiversity heritage tag for Himayat Bagh, the government pleader and the counsel for the AMC assured the court these deficiencies would be immediately removed and the same would be communicated by tendering relevant documents to the MSBB. “We, therefore, expect this exercise to be completed on or before November 25,” the two-member bench of justice Ravindra Ghuge and justice Sanjay Deshmukh said in its order dated November 10.
The issue of encroachment involving Himayat Bagh also surfaced during the court hearing to which petitioner advocate Sandesh Hange of Umbrella Welfare Foundation submitted that the Land Records department has been instructed by Vasantrao Naik Agriculture University that is in possession of the Mughal-era garden that necessary fees would be deposited so as to have the entire area measured and proper boundary marks are fixed. Hange also highlighted that it was probably for a period of two months that the Land Records department has not yet initiated the steps.
While the government pleader told the court that immediate steps would be taken, the court said that it expects the university to deposit the requisite fees, on or before November 30.