The Indian Air Force has alleged that the Maharashtra State housing board has grabbed 49,000 sq metres of defence land in suburban Santa Cruz.

The IAF claimed that Maharashtra Housing Area Development Authority (MHADA) manipulated property records to take over the land at the Rifle Range in Golibar area.

It has written a letter to the MHADA asking the housing body to remove the encroachments and vacate the land, officials said.

Six buildings have also come up on the land under the slum rehabilitation scheme, the IAF said. The land is located close to an IAF installation.

The Cotton Green-based 411 Air Force station has claimed that the land was part of 2.49 lakh sq metres of military land, which had been in its possession since May 8, 1964.

An official at the Air Force station also alleged that MHADA allowed a private developer to illegally set up multi-storeyed apartments on the land without procuring a no-objection certificate from the Air Force.

When contacted, a MHADA official declined to comment on the IAF’s allegations.