Kalyan-Dombivli ordinance challenged | india | Hindustan Times
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Kalyan-Dombivli ordinance challenged

The ordinance issued by the Maharashtra Govt regularising the irregular structures in the Kalyan and Dombivli areas is violative of fundamental rights which assures right to life to its citizens.

india Updated: Feb 06, 2007 23:42 IST
Urvi Jappi

The ordinance issued by the Maharashtra Government regularising the irregular structures in the Kalyan and Dombivli areas is violative of fundamental rights which assures right to life to its citizens.

Social activist Kaustubha Gokhale had filed a public interest litigation (PIL) in January 2004 seeking action against irregular structures. In August 2006, the Bombay high court had directed the demolition of all irregular and unauthorized structures in the jurisdiction of Kalyan-Dombivli Municipal Corporation (KDMC), following which the government had issued an ordinance regularizing the structures as the number of irregular structures was around 67,920.

Gokhale approached the HC seeking that the government ordinance of November 20, 2006 regularising the structures constructed by January 1, 2004 be quashed as it violates Article 21 (protection of life and personal liberty). The PIL was filed by Gokhale in November 2006 itself. However, it came up for hearing on Tuesday.

His counsel Srihari Aney argued that the basic concept of Maharashtra Regional Town Planning Act (MRTP) was breached by passing the ordinance. The MRTP Act along with the Development Plan are formulated by the government to guarantee a citizen his basic fundamental rights – health and sanitation, orderly development and amenities or social services. By regularizing the structures the draft Development Plan is disturbed thus violating the fundamental rights, said Aney.

Besides, if the irregular structures are regularized, the areas reserved for open spaces will be reduced by half in Kalyan and Dombivli. Also, there will be aggregate reduction in public amenities by 10 per cent as prescribed by the Development Plan.

The ordinance was passed without following due process of law, said Aney. “By regularising such irregular and unauthorised structures, the government is actually permitting the illegality,” said Aney.

When Kakodkar committee submitted its report in 1988, the number or illegal structures in Kalyan-Dombivli were around 2,300, whereas the number rose to 67,920 in June 2006, Aney pointed out to the court.

Several illegal structures have come up by allegedly forging documents. If such illegal structures are regularized the culprits would go scot free as the ordinance does not spell out compounding of offence under the Indian Penal Code, said Gokhale’s lawyer HG Misar.

While hearing the PIL, the court asked government pleader Pradeep Patil as to what action was taken the erring officers. Rafiq Dada, counsel for the KDMC told the court that the corporation was taking action against the errant officers. The court has also asked about the necessary action to be taken against the contractors and architects too.

The court had last year asked the government to conduct survey of all the 1,10,957 properties in the KDMC area to decide on their legality. Patil told the court on Tuesday that they have completed survey of nearly 11,000 structures in last two months and the survey of the remaining structures was on in ‘full-swing’.

Email Urvi Jappi: urvi.jappi@hindustantimes.com