TERMING the objections raised by the Navi Mumbai Municipal Commissioner to the state government’s proposed policy on regularisation of illegal structures “correct”, the Bombay High court observed Thursday that the existing provisions of law already provide for the regularisation of such unauthorised constructions. “If the intention was to allow regularisation within the existing provisions of law, there was no need to get such a policy, as the planning authorities already have the power to look into regularisation of such structures,” the court said.
A division bench of Justices A S Oka and Anuja Prabhudessai was hearing a Public Interest Litigation pertaining to illegal constructions in Digha and Navi Mumbai in which the government has submitted a policy for regularising such structures. The policy, which would be applicable state-wide, seeks to regularise all illegal structures built prior to December 31, 2015.
On Thursday, the bench started a dictation of the final order in the matter.
Earlier, the court had rejected the proposed regularisation policy of April 26, 2016 calling it arbitrary. The government then submitted a revised policy in July 2016. Arguing for the government, advocate general Rohit Deo had said the policy was in compliance with the Development Control (DC) regulations and the Maharashtra Regional and Town Planning (MRTP) Act. He had also said that nothing in violation of these provisions would be regularised.
“The objection raised by the NMMC is correct that within the existing framework of law, it is possible for a person to apply for regularisation,” the court said.
Earlier this month, the Navi Mumbai municipal commissioner had written to the principal secretary of the urban development department of the state expressing “difficulty in implementing the proposed policy”.
The NMMC commissioner’s contention was that Navi Mumbai, envisioned as a planned city, was suffering from unauthorised developments that have come up in a haphazard manner. “…Regularisation will put all efforts for planning and implementation for past 45 years in vain,” the NMMC chief’s letter to the state government said.
The commissioner had also stated that such unplanned development had been carried out on the narrow streets, too, “and may lead to disaster in event of any natural or man made calamity. Even NMMC is unable to provide fire, ambulance services in these areas”.