As reported by N Ganesh in on 20 February 2008:
RTI helps reveal illegal gate on public path in Thane

RTI helps reveal illegal gate on public path in Thane

Mumbai, February 19 Persistent applications under Right to Information (RTI) Act have revealed that an iron gate that stands across a stretch of road at Thane is actually on a public path. RTI activist Nainesh Dolas had noticed the gate on the path from Maple Shah Darga to Tapase Nagar police chowky at Rabodi in Thane for 7-8 years. “The gate used to be locked as per the whims and fancies of the local residents and everybody believed the path to be in private custody,” said Dolas.

However, as the path was in a bad condition Dolas presumed that it would indeed be in private land. But last year when Thane Municipal Corporation paved the 44.5x9.6 metre-long stretch with blocks, he thought otherwise. “The civic body does not construct roads on private land, so I sought information about the stretch from TMC,” said Dolas.

Reply to the RTI queries revealed that the TMC had spent Rs 4 lakh to repair the road and as per information available with the civic body, the stretch was indeed a public road. The TMC also informed that it was wrong to block the public path with a gate.

Armed with the information provided by the TMC, in November 2007 Dolas wrote to TMC complaining about the illegal gate. TMC conducted an inspection of the site on 17 January, 2008.

In reply to another RTI query by Dolas, the TMC informed that at the site their inspectors were accosted by residents living nearby who informed them that the gate was in private land and they would produce the relevant papers. On 21 January, 2008 when the office of assistant municipal commissioner had given time to the residents for hearing, the residents sought 15 days more to submit the relevant papers.

Assistant Municipal Commissioner Geeta Kulkarni said she would comment after apprising herself with the case.

Local Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) corporator Najib Mulla said the gate was a nuisance to people of Rabodi. “This is a public road with all civic utilities running through it and yet some people have chosen to control the access on the path. This is illegal and against public interest. I will raise this issue in the civic general body meeting on February 20,” Mulla said.