Civic officials responsible for illegal constructions will now face criminal action, chief minister Prithviraj Chavan said in the state Assembly on Tuesday.
Replying to a query over illegal constructions in the Pimpri-Chinchwad region in Pune, Chavan informed the Assembly that the President has approved the state government’s amendment to section 66 of the Maharashtra Regional Town Planning (MRTP) Act. The legal provision would help the government in curbing illegal construction, because the onus of preventing such structures would be on local municipal officers. In Mumbai, it would be the responsibility of the ward officer or the assistant municipal commissioner, said minister of state for urban development Sachin Ahir.
The amended rule will come into effect after a notification on the procedure to be followed for criminal action is issued. “Illegal construction is a serious problem in urban areas. In some cases, the municipal bodies try to regularise the structures. Once the amendment comes into effect, the municipal officers will face criminal proceedings for allowing such structures in the area under their jurisdiction,” Chavan said.
He added that the government plans to come up with a policy on illegal structures and also simplify the procedure for seeking permission for construction. A bill on it could come up in the budget session of the state legislature.
‘12 lakh people use skywalks daily’
Nagpur: For those wondering why the government spends so much money on building skywalks that are rarely used by pedestrians, the state government now has an answer. According to chief minister Prithviraj Chavan, nearly 12 lakh people use the 36 skywalks built in the city and suburbs daily.
Maharashtra Navnirman Sena legislators Harshvardhan Jadhav, Shishir Shinde and others had claimed that the city skywalks were built without proper planning. People in the city hardly use these skywalks, they had alleged.
In a written reply to the query in the House, Chavan said that using funds to build skywalks cannot be termed as a waste of taxpayers’ money.
The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority planned to build 67 skywalks. Till November, Rs738.27 crore has been spent on the construction of 36 skywalks, which have been fully or partially opened for pedestrians.
A survey conducted by the development authority revealed that while some of the skywalks were not being used much, better response could be expected in the future, said the minister.