Mira Bhayandar: Corporator Ashwin Kasodariya on hunger strike to save open spaces

The Covid-19 pandemic might have been the biggest newsmaker in 2020-21, but the Shani Nagar area of Mira Road has managed to give it a good competition by remaining in the limelight due to a series of controversies.

As residents of the sprawling home cluster continue with their battle against the Mira Bhayandar Municipal Corporation (MBMC) for allowing the builder to start construction work on spaces claimed to be recreational grounds (RG), local corporator Ashwin Kasodariya has jumped into the arena by launching an indefinite hunger strike to support the cause since Monday.

“The people have voted me to represent this ward and it is my duty to protect their rights and open spaces. Ground realities have been ignored to illegally pass plans on open spaces sans any permission from residents. I have been complaining for a long time but my pleas have gone to deaf ears. It’s crystal clear that the civic administration is encouraging and sheltering the illegalities of the builder. This will not be tolerated. I will fight till the end,” said Kasodariya.

“The high court in its order dated November 29, 2021, has confirmed the land is not an RG as claimed. The plans are duly passed by the MBMC. A petition filed by objecting societies has been dismissed saying there was no illegality in the layout. Despite being aware of judicial order, complaints are being filed devoid of any merit with an intention to pressurise us for undue advantage,” said Rikhav Shah of Shanti Star Builders.

It has been alleged that, apart from taking over the gardens, several RG plots amidst housing complexes were being captured to construct structures on the virtue of manipulated plans approved by the civic body.

During its launch, decades ago, Shanti Nagar was projected to be Asia’s largest private township that had been originally constructed to house the weaker section of the society in Mira Road.