Demolition drive: Three temples, lodgings razed | india | Hindustan Times
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Demolition drive: Three temples, lodgings razed

india Updated: Jul 24, 2010 00:50 IST
Susamma Kurian

As part of its ongoing drive against unauthorised constructions, the Thane Municipal Corporation demolished structures in Vartaknagar, Uthalsar and Railadevi on Friday.

On Thursday, the corporation had razed three illegal temples on Ghodbunder road despite strong opposition from locals. Three lodgings situated nearby too faced the axe.

The demolitions are being carried out following the Bombay High Court’s order. In three months, the corporation has demolished 4,489 unauthorised structures within its jurisdiction. This figure is more than the number of unauthorised structures demolished in 2008 and 2009 — the number was 2,900 and 3,800 respectively.

Civic officials say the increase in the number is due to the strict orders issued by Municipal commissioner R.A. Rajeev.

“I have asked my officers to demolish any new illegal structure coming up in their wards, even if it’s just a plinth,” said Rajeev. Nearly 50 Maharashtra Regional and Town Planning Act cases have been filed against the offenders. A TMC junior engineer from Naupada ward was suspended for his involvement in illegal constructions.

“An inquiry has been constituted in other cases and action will be taken based on the report,” Rajeev added.

The corporation has also initiated action against hawkers encroaching footpaths and roads. Nearly 3,985 stalls were razed in three months, resulting in a hawker-free zone on Gokhale Road, Netaji Subhash Path and Mahatma Phule Mandi.

However, some residents feel that the TMC needs to be more proactive. “The illegal constructions come up due to the nexus between politicians and civic officials,” said activist Nitin Deshpande.

However, residents are supporting the corporation. Dr Mahesh Bedekar, who filed a PIL against the hawkers, has started an online petition – - congratulating the corporation for its drive.

“It is time for the common man to encourage the corporation. The officials are under immense pressure from politicians and ipetitions is a platform to tell them that they have our support,” he said.