A two-storey building, famously known as Bhide Wada property in Pune, was razed by Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) after local residents refused to hand over the land to PMC despite court orders, an official said on Tuesday.
Speaking to ANI, Deputy Commissioner, PMC, Land Acquisition Department, Pratibha Patil, said, “The Bhide Wada was a historic building where social reformer Savitribai Phule started the country’s first school for girls in Pune. The corporation decided in 2006 that a memorial would be built here in her honour. The acquisition process started in 2008. However, in 2010, the residents of Bhide Wada filed a lawsuit after putting forward their objections (to the acquisition process).”
“From 2010 till date, the case remains in court. However, in the last 5-6 months of the hearing, we pleaded to be allowed to pursue our noble aim of building a monument in the area. We pleaded that the corporation be able to acquire the land and build the monument for society,” she added.
The corporation won the case in the Supreme Court and high court but the residents again moved the apex court, seeking more time to vacate the place and were granted a month.
“The date ended on December 2, following which they were issued a notice of possession. On Monday, December 4, we again tried to have the property vacated but in vain. Owing to the continued non-cooperation of residents, we were left with no option but to move for forceful acquisition,” the PMC official added.
“This building will be demolished and the process of building a monument will be set in motion shortly by the PMC after securing proper physical possession of the property,” Patil added.
Even after the Supreme Court and High Court paved the way for the acquisition of Bhide Wada property, the Pune Municipal Corporation faced obstacles in the form of traders, who were against handing over ownership of the property.
The Bombay High Court recently ruled in favour of the PMC in a case related to the Bhide Wada property, which the civic body and the state government have planned to turn into a national memorial.
The land owners and tenants even approached the Supreme Court, which refused to offer them any respite.
The locals of Bhide Wada were given a deadline to vacate the premises. However, the residents and traders contested the judgement and filed a petition with the Supreme Court seeking an extension of the deadline.
After the deadline ended, PMC officials moved for forceful acquisition of the land and demolished the building to raise a national memorial.
Mahatma Phule and Savitribai Phule started the first school for girls in Bhide Wada, which is located in front of the Dagdusheth Ganpati Temple.