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AHMEDABAD: The Gujarat high court on Tuesday ordered sealing of nine commercial establishments that have been illegally constructed in residential houses in Anand Vihar Apartments in Vastrapur area on the 132 Feet Ring Road.

While stopping the demolition of nine commercial properties and instead ordering the authorities to seal them, a division bench has permitted the Gujarat Housing Board (GHB) to go ahead with the demolition of seven other commercial properties in the society as ordered by a single-judge bench on February 2.

The single-judge bench had ordered demolition of 16 properties which have been constructed without obtaining any permission from the authorities and are being used for commercial purpose. The residents of the society, including owners of nine of these 16 properties, challenged the demolition order before the division bench, which has modified the order. The shops that are to be sealed include famous namkeen shop of Sonalben Khakhrawala.

GHB had issued notices for demolition of these 16 encroachments since June 2019. Some residents of the society moved the HC for implementation of the GHB notices. Before this, the issue had reached to civil court.

Those who questioned the demolition orders attributed the GHB motive for pushing the 35-year-old cooperative society to redevelopment. They argued that the GHB issued notices for removal of encroachment after one Siddhi Developers and Builders evinced interest for redevelopment of the society.

Those who first moved the HC for implementation of GHB’s demolition notices contended that earlier the redevelopment norms required consent of 60% of total residents. Later, the rules changed and now consent of 75% of the residents is required to implement any redevelopment plans. In last two years, the numbers of consent givers have reduced, but out of 132 members some have already vacated their houses and are now eagerly waiting for the redevelopment process to start. But the resistance from the alleged illegal encroachers stalled the redevelopment plan. This prompted them to approach the HC for implementation of GHB’s demolition notices.

The division bench has ordered the authorities to place compliance report to the single-judge bench on February 15.



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