TMC officials hand in glove with accused builders : cops

Investigation into the Mumbra building collapse has revealed the connivance of Thane Municipal Corporation (TMC) officials with accused builders, with the latter being told that occupied illegal structures would not be demolished.

mumbai Updated: Jun 25, 2013 09:18 IST

Not only did TMC officials turn a blind eye to the illegal activity, but also went on to guide developers about the loopholes in Government Resolutions (GRs) and municipal circulars.

The Thane police will now move an application asking the court to fast track the hearing in the case.

According to the police, TMC officials had told the accused about a basic rule that states that an illegal building is generally not pulled down if it is occupied and that demolition drives are not carried out during the monsoon.

“Developers, thus, paid poor, homeless people to occupy the constructed floors. However, the building was unable to sustain this load,” said a police officer privy to the investigation.

“Civic officials told developers that the corporation usually takes a humanitarian approach in the case of occupied illegal structures.

We’ve collected GRs and municipal circulars that were either subverted or overlooked to build the structure, and have attached it as evidence,” said the officer.

The only advantage that investigating officials have, is that since the building was built and collapse during the tenure of the same municipal officers, it will be easy to nail them.

Milind Bharambe, additional commissioner of police (Thane Crime Branch) said, “We have reports from competent government agencies that prove that the construction was of substandard quality.

There is also enough evidence against the intention of municipal officials, and the illicit money they received.”

First Published: Jun 25, 2013 09:13 IST