On Thursday, Yashoda Yadav, 35, had died of heart attack while she saw her neighbour’s homes being torn down. Locals alleged her death was linked to the demolition drive, in which the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) razed 1,410 illegal structures within 50 metres of mangroves as per Bombay high court orders.
“The BMC sent a demolition notice to the slum on January 7. We were given 24 hours to submit evidences. Why did the drive begin when it is so cold? We have been living here for the last 15 years. The area was declared Coastal Regulation Zone in 2005,” said resident Sangeeta Salve. Of the 14 lanes in the slum, BMC carried out demolitions in eight on Thursday. On Friday, officials dug trenches creating a boundary to ensure the area remains encroachment-free.
“A four-foot deep trench, till where the demolitions took place, has been dug. Tin sheets have been used to barricade the area,” said Santoshkumar Dhonde, assistant municipal commissioner, R North ward.
Congress corporator Sheetal Mhatre protested stating that no prior planned survey had been undertaken. “Some structures had been there from before 1995 too,” said Mhatre.
Local Shiv Sena corporator Abhishek Ghosalkar, who had complained against the structures to municipal commissioner Sitaram Kunte, said he would ensure the drive continues and would also write to the civic chief to serve Mhatre a disqualificatin notice.