300 down in 2 yrs,PMC now targets 600 more

Local leaders to be convinced about the need to remove the unauthorised religious structures.

Pune | Published: October 29, 2013 5:19 am

After removing around 300 unauthorised religious structures at public places under its jurisdiction,the Pune Municipal Corporation has decided to act against the remaining 600 of them in phases.

“PMC has been taking action against unauthorised religious structures with the help of police. However,the action is being taken after convincing the local leaders to avoid any law and order problem,” said Madhav Jagtap,Deputy Municipal Commissioner,in-charge of the anti-encroachment department.

He claimed that the civic administration had removed 300 religious structures in the last two years. “We have been sending reports to the state government on a regular basis as an affidavit has to be filed in the Supreme Court on the action taken against unauthorised religious structures,” Jagtap said.

Local leaders,both political and religious,are approached by the civic administration to convince them about the need to remove the unauthorised religious structures that cause problems in infrastructure projects. Jagtap said: “It is only after convincing the local leaders that the civic administration goes ahead with removing or shifting the religious structures that block roads,footpath or any other civic infrastructure project.”

The state government had issued a resolution in October 2011 after the Supreme Court’s directions to all state governments to initiate action against unauthorised religious structures. In PMC areas,the unauthorised religious structures exist on roads,footpaths,gardens,hills and plots reserved for civic amenities.

Accordingly,a committee headed by the municipal commissioner and with the police commissioner and the district collector as members,was formed to plan on implementation of the Supreme Court directive and the government resolution.

The PMC had carried out a survey in February 2011 to list the unauthorised religious structures and identified 943 of them,including 38 under the jurisdiction of the Pune rural police,461 in Zone 1,223 in Zone 2,70 in Zone 3 and 151 in Zone 4. Most of these are small in size but eat into road and footpath space.

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