In a move to convince the Supreme Court that it is taking its role as the city’s guardian seriously, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has filed an affidavit stating that it has demolished 81% of all illegal structures that have come up in the city over the past five years.
Illegal structures include slums, shops, encroachments on pavements, and alterations in flats. Going by the figures submitted to SC, Mumbai currently has only 10,144 illegal structures.
Responding to the apex court’s order asking it to submit a status report on illegal constructions, the BMC has stated that in all, 56,266 illegal structures came up in the last five years, of which it has razed 46,122.
As reported earlier in HT, the BMC had, in the same affidavit filed last week, admitted that 100 buildings have been constructed without permissions or the permissions obtained were inadequate, as in the case of Worli’s Campa Cola complex.
The BMC claims that most of the remaining 10,144 illegal structures are in various stages of prosecution, but is unsure if Mumbai has only these many illegal structures. “We are not sure how many illegal structures exist as of today,” said Anand Waghralkar, deputy municipal commissioner (removal of encroachments), who filed the affidavit in SC.
The affidavit states that 3161 illegal constructions have cropped up so far in 2013.
Civic officials said a break-up of the various types of illegal structures was not available. “Our information consists of all structures identified and acted against. It is difficult to keep count of the kinds of structures,” Waghralkar said.
Nawaaz Khan, president of Maharashtra Ekta Hawkers Union, said the BMC was underestimating the figures.
“Instead of not showing the complete picture and harassing hawkers who try to earn a living, BMC should go after people who build illegal structures and earn out of it.”