While hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) seeking orders to demolish an ICSE school in Malad due to irregularities in its construction, the Bombay high court ordered the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to pull down all illegal and unauthorised constructions in the city.
The high court has directed the civic body to identify all such structures in the city, starting with P-North ward , and complete its survey within a week’s time.
The court has also directed BMC commissioner Subodh Kumar to state, on affidavit, the civic body’s action plan to remove unauthorised structures.
“We have to ensure proper enforcement of civic laws,” said the division bench of justice PB Majmudar and justice Amjad Syed.
“It is high time the BMC ensured no unauthorised constructions come up in the city. There has to be some civic sense, or it will become difficult for law-abiding citizens to live here,” the judges said, while pulling up BMC officials for allowing Balaji International School in Malad to add six illegal floors to its 11-storey structure.
The judges expressed concern over the tendency of some builders to construct unauthorised floors and to encroach upon open spaces and slum dwellers’ homes.
“These builders would not bother about the common citizens’ discomfort,” the judges observed. They then asked BMC counsel AY Sakhare, “But, what about you?”
The judges insisted that the civic chief put his house in order first to ensure no illegal or unauthorised construction came up within city limits.
Meanwhile, the Balaji International School has challenged the civic body’s action of demolishing an electricity sub-station, necessary for ensuring adequate power supply to the school, constructed by Reliance Energy on a plot reserved for a playground.
What irked the judges in the matter was that the school went on to construct an 11-storey structure despite BMC’s sanction for a five-storey building, and a subsequent stop-work notice.
The civic body, however, later regularised the building following the state government’s decision to grant FSI of 4 for the school building.