Social activists in the city on Tuesday strongly condemned the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) move of regularising illegal floors constructed by the developers by charging fine instead of demolishing the same.
The civic chief had issued a new circular on February 4
stating that unauthorised constructions can be retained/regularised in accordance with the provisions of the Maharashtra Regional Town Planning (MRTP) Act, 1996.
GR Vora, citizen activist from F North Ward Citizen Federation, said, “The circular is disastrous for the city, it will encourage the builders and developers to blatantly flout the building constructions laws like the MRTP Act, the Development Control (DC) rules and the Floor Space Index (FSI). Builders will construct building without adhering to the norms and then apply for regularisation by paying penalty. This circular should be withdrawn and earlier circular of demolishing the illegal floors should be continued.”
“We will strongly protest this decision. Builders knowingly construct extra floors, then why is the civic body regularizing them by charging penalty. Moreover, these penalties will be passed on to the buyer only. Ultimately it is the buyers’ loss, the developers will remain unaffected,” said Krishnaraj Rao, RTI activist from Borivli.
Sharing Rao’s views, Mohammed Afzal, consumer and RTI activist from Andheri, said, “Builders in connivance with the BMC authorities have made Mumbai another Ulhasnagar, whereby they first allow illegal constructions to happen, nurture them and then they speak of regularising it. In this process, it is the buyer who will pay this penalty.”
Even the owners of unauthorised flats were not pleased with the civic body’s revised order. Resident of Tilaknagar Shahnawaz Khan, who owns seventh floor flat that doesn’t have BMC commencement certificate, said, “Buyers rely only on brochures and plan explained by builder. They do not verify the blue print submitted to the corporation.”
When contacted, the official from the building and factory department of the civic body said, “We have received the circular for regularising the illegal constructions and we have already started working in it.”
Meanwhile, the civic body on Tuesday demolished 350 illegal structures — 325 were shanties and 25 were pukka structures — in Naya Nagar, Goregaon.
The locals protested demolition drive by pelting stones and setting a few shanties on fire.