Taking note of the various complaints, the Bombay high court (HC) on Friday directed the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to demolish the illegal constructions in R-North ward, which mainly covers Malad (West), within two months and submit a compliance report by June 25.
A division bench of justice Abhay Oka and justice Ashok Bhangale was hearing a public interest litigation filed by Malad resident Sayyad Abbas Rizvi, stating that according to a survey conducted in 2000, 37 of the 200 bungalows along the Madh-Marve Road were unauthorised. He also stated there are around 3,000 illegal structures in the ward.
Responding to the petition, additional solicitor general Anil Singh, who represented the civic body, submitted that it is not possible to act on hundreds of vague complaints received daily, as most don’t give the specific details of illegal constructions and the BMC doesn’t have the needed staff strength. Rizvi’s counsel Diwakar Dwivedi, however, said the petitioner had provided the details of the unauthorised structures and had written to the ward office, but no action was taken.
Irked that the civic body did not even identify the structures mentioned in the petitioner’s complaints, the HC has ordered a survey of the complaints received against the buildings in Malad, after which those found to be illegal will have to be demolished.
The bench has also asked civic chief Sitaram Kunte to form a committee of officials within two weeks to determine the staff strength required to tackle the illegal constructions across the city. The committee will have to submit a report on the additional staff needed within six weeks of its formation.