The first day of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) drive to raze illegal residential structures on land belonging to Maharashtra Area and Housing Development Authority (Mhada) in Andheri saw a lot of drama.
Residents put up a strong opposition when BMC officials, along with a State Reserve Police Force platoon and 50 policemen, demolished illegal extensions of 30 structures in Sardar Vallabhai Patel (SVP) Nagar on Tuesday.
A labourer was also injured when a tin sheet fell on his head during the demolitions. He was rushed to hospital.
The demolitions are being carried out following a Bombay High Court order issued in January 2009. The high court has told the BMC to present an action-taken report before January 15, 2010.
There are 2,937 structures in SVP Nagar that have carried out illegal extensions. The BMC has to demolish at least 4,200 structures built on 98 Mhada layouts in the Andheri-Versova-Jogeshwari belt. Residents of these structures, built for the low-income group, have illegally extended their homes up to two floors.
“When we went to demolish the structures there was a lot of drama. Residents were crying and abusing us, and many women stood outside their homes obstructing the drive for two hours,” a BMC official said, requesting anonymity because he is not authorised to speak to the media.
Assistant municipal commissioner, Ramesh Pawar, said: “The drive will continue until all the illegal extensions are demolished.”
Pawar said no families had been displaced because the ground floors of their homes, which were legal, have been left untouched.
The BMC is going to carry out massive demolition drives in Adarsh Nagar and Laxmi Industrial Estate at Andheri (West). Two private contractors are carrying out the task for Rs 2.68 crore.