Ten illegal stalls on the arterial Ghatkopar-Mahul Road in Chembur were demolished by the officials of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) last week.
The action was taken under the supervision of assistant municipal commissioner of M-West ward, Narendra Barde, despite a high court stay on demolition of the stalls.
“We can prove that the stalls were illegal. They have misled the court too,” said Barde.
The stay order, according to civic officials, is a way of making the structures permanent. “First, a temporary structure with court’s ‘stay order’ is erected on a footpath. The construction work is taken up during a long weekend. By the time the case ends, the stalls become permanent,” said a civic official on condition of anonymity because he is not authorised to speak to the media.
The officials suspect the involvement of two retired civic employees in building the stalls.
The BMC has filed a first information report against 15 people under the Maharashtra Region Town Planning Act at the Chembur police station. “We cannot disclose the names of the employees as they have not been arrested,” said Barde. Each stall would be worth over Rs50 lakh, he said.
Meanwhile, the protests by Chembur Merchants’ Association notwithstanding, the civic body razed four unauthorised stalls near Natraj Cinema on NG Acharya Road last week.