After HC order, 4,500 illegal bldgs in Navi Mum face demolition
Nearly 4,500 illegal structures in Navi Mumbai are set to be demolished, following a court order and the reinstatement of the head of the city's anti-encroachment department. The Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation has identified over 15,000 illegal structures in the city, and has sent notices to around 4,000 structures since 2015. However, many buildings have not been demolished, leading to accusations of a nexus between politicians, the land mafia and civic officials. The recent court order and reinstatement of the anti-encroachment department head is hoped to prompt decisive action against illegal structures.
NAVI MUMBAI: Nearly 4,500 illegal structures in Navi Mumbai are facing demolition after the Bombay high court asked the Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) to furnish details of action taken against post-2015 illegal structures last week. Dr Rahul Gethe, former head of the civic body’s anti-encroachment department, who was shunted out after a series of demolitions prior to Diwali, has also been reinstated, raising hopes of concerted action against illegal structures in the city.
Illegal structures have proliferated in Navi Mumbai, especially in gaothan areas outside villages even as officials have turned a blind eye to such developments. The NMMC has identified over 15,000 illegal structures in the city, though the actual number is believed to be much higher as several buildings are not on record.
The NMMC has since 2015 sent notices to nearly 4,000 illegal structures under the Maharashtra Regional and Town Planning Act (MRTP) Act 1966, warning of action if the structures were not pulled down within a stipulated period, said Nitin Kandhari, a social activist. “But the buildings were not demolished even after the expiry of deadlines, indicating a nexus between political leaders, the land mafia and civic officials,” he said, hoping that recent the high court order on a PIL filed by a law student Kishore Sunder Shetty would prompt authorities to take decisive action.
On January 31, a bench of justices Devendra Kumar Upadhyay and Arif Doctor ordered the NMMC to take action against buildings that did not have commencement and/or occupancy certificates. The court asked the civic body to submit a detailed report on demolitions and applications received for regularising pre-2015 illegal constructions in lieu of penalty.
“We have started working on the implementation of the order and will conduct a detailed survey of illegal constructions soon. Necessary action is also being taken against post-2015 illegal constructions following the due process,” Gethe said after assuming charge of the anti-encroachment department.
The process to vacate two buildings in sector 16 of Nerul, which were declared illegal by the high court, has commenced. Action has also been initiated against illegal structures in Sanpada, Kopar Khairane and other places, said officials.
“We will have a zero-tolerance policy against illegal structures and send out a strong message to perpetrators,” said municipal commissioner Rajesh Narvekar.