Bombay HC slams Maharashtra for slow demolition of illegal shrines

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: Jan 20, 2016 00:41 IST

The Bombay high court on Tuesday rapped the state government for going slow on demolishing illegal shrines constructed after September 2009 across Maharashtra.

The division bench of Justice Abhay Oka and Justice CV Bhadang said that the state government will not be able to meet the deadline of May 6, 2016, if it went slowly in demolishing unauthorised structures.

The judges were irked to note that though the demolition drive for pulling down 1,743 illegal shrines — 862 located within limits of municipal corporations across Maharashtra and 881 outside the civic limits — had started after Diwali, only 28 structures located within municipal corporation limits and 41 structures outside the municipal limits had been razed.

“Perusal of the data submitted by the state government clearly indicates that it will be difficult for the government to meet the deadline of May 6, 2016,” the judges observed in their order and directed the principal secretary, home department to file a report of the demolition work done by February 15.

The court was hearing a public interest litigation filed by city NGO, Janhit Manch seeking a direction to the authorities to demolish illegal shrines across the state. Acting on the PIL, the court had earlier directed the government to submit a time-bound schedule for demolition of the illegal shrines.

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