Of the 773 alleged unauthorised structures in Lonavla, 285 are yet to be demolished due to injunctions from various local civil courts, the Lonavla Municipal Council has said.
Counsel for the Lonavla Municipal Council, S.V. Pitre, told the Bombay High Court on Thursday that it had carried out demolitions but there were practical and legal hurdles to completing the work.
The division bench of Chief Justice Swatanter Kumar and Justice D.Y. Chandrachud is hearing a PIL filed by the Lonavla Khandala Citizens’ Forum seeking demolition of illegal structures.
Pitre told the high court that 45 cases were pending in civil courts where they had got a stay on demolition (before the PIL was filed). After the HC order to demolish illegal structures, 152 applications were filed seeking regularisation of the structures.
One-hundred-fifty structures would be demolished soon, Pitre said. Asking the council to take action immediately, the chief justice made it clear that if there was any further delay, the officers would have to bear the costs from their pocket.
On February 12, the high court had imposed costs of Rs 3,000 on the CEO of LMC and also on the Urban Development Department secretary for “acting irresponsibly despite court orders”.
While directing the state to appoint a law officer for the council, the HC asked the council to pursue the 45 cases with utmost urgency.
The magistrate concerned was asked to dispose of the matter within three months.
Sanjeev Gorvadkar, counsel for the petitioners, showed photographs of Kumar Hotel where the stilt area was being allegedly used commercially. “The permission for stilt area was given for parking; it is used for shops,” said Gorvadkar.