Bombay HC: ‘When will you set up body to oversee illegal construction?’

Published on Jun 30, 2021 12:34 AM IST

The Bombay high court (HC) on Tuesday asked the state government and civic bodies, including the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), to put an end to building collapses that result in loss of lives by taking urgent steps to curb uncontrolled illegal constructions

HT Image
HT Image
ByKAY Dodhiya, Mumbai

The Bombay high court (HC) on Tuesday asked the state government and civic bodies, including the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), to put an end to building collapses that result in loss of lives by taking urgent steps to curb uncontrolled illegal constructions. The HC further sought to know when it would be acting on the suggestion given by it four years ago to constitute an authority that would only oversee the issue of illegal constructions in the city. The court also asked the BMC to respond to the court-appointed inquiry commissioner’s preliminary findings in Malwani building collapse case. The next hearing is scheduled on July 2.

A division bench of chief justice Dipankar Datta and justice Girish Kulkarni, while hearing the suo motu public interest litigation instituted by it in September 2020 following the Bhiwandi building collapse incident which claimed around 40 lives, was informed that justice (retired) JP Deodhar, who was appointed as commissioner of inquiry on June 11, had visited the site of the building collapse at Malwani and prepared a preliminary report.

On June 11, after hearing about the circumstances that led to the Malwani building collapse which led to 12 deaths had described it as a man-made disaster and ordered a judicial inquiry and appointed a former HC judge to conduct the probe.

The preliminary report submitted on Tuesday was based on the findings on the terms of references which included availability of sanctioned plan for structure, structural audit report and on whom the responsibility can be fixed and which officials were responsible to maintain vigil and supervision of unauthorized and illegal structures in the area.

After perusing the preliminary report the bench observed, “Sum and substance of the findings was that there was a single storied structure on which three floors were raised in an absolute unauthorized manner and no permission was taken from authorities and the inquiry commissioner has fixed responsibility.”

When senior counsel Aspi Chinoy for BMC sought a week’s time to respond to the report, the bench allowed the same but said that the civic authority should decide on which of the recommendations made by justice Deodhar were acceptable to them. “As per report, more than 8000 structures are there in the particular western suburb and how many of them are unauthorized is yet to be ascertained. Ask your officers to take the issue seriously.”

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
SHARE
Story Saved
OPEN APP
×
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
My Offers
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Tuesday, January 31, 2023
Start 15 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now
Register Free and get Exciting Deals