HC stays decisions on NIT’s proposals ‘till further orders’

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 14 Jun 2018 10:05:56


Staff Reporter,

The decision of State Government to abolish Nagpur Improvement Trust (NIT) has been challenged before Nagpur bench of Bombay High Court. Justice Bhushan Dharmadhikari and Justice Z A Haq, on Wednesday, issued notices to Secretary of State Urban Development Department, Nagpur Metropolitan Region Development Authority (NMRDA), Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC), and NIT and also ordered stay on decisions on NIT’s proposals till further orders.

The court issued the notices and the order after hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by Satyavrat Dutta.
According to the petitioner, NIT was formed with an intention to development Nagpur city. NIT had been creating water supply, drainage and other amenities in various layouts.

On December 27, 2016, State Cabinet decided to abolish NIT and transfer all the powers to NMC. The process of ‘merger’ of NIT into NMC was to be completed by December 31, 2017. A committee headed by Principal Secretary was appointed for the purpose.

The petitioner pointed out that NIT had its separate budget, and it was earning profits. State Government had drawn funds from NIT but had not returned the same.
However, NMC’s financial health was in doldrums.
Dutta stated that the possibility of NIT’s ‘merger’ into NMC putting additional financial burden on the latter could not be denied. Before abolishing NIT, the Government should have appointed a committee to draw up a proper plan to carry out the process.

The counsel for the petitioner pointed out that Devendra Fadnavis, Chief Minister, had filed a PIL in 2005 and had demanded that the State Government should appoint a committee and draw up a proper plan to carry out NIT’s abolition.

However, the petitioner alleged, the State Government now had taken decision to abolish NIT purely for political reasons.

The petitioner urged the court to scrap the Government’s decision to abolish NIT. Else, he prayed to the court, no decision should be taken unless there was clear policy regarding the fate of employees and plots of NIT after abolition. After hearing the petitioner, the court issued notices to respondents -- Secretary of State Urban Development Department, NMRDA, NMC, and NIT. The court also ordered stay on State Government taking any decisions on NIT’s schemes till further orders. Adv Shreerang Bhandarkar represented the petitioner.