After HC order,PCMC to raze illegal structures

Bombay High Court tells New Millennium School to demolish illegal structure by May 3,2014.

Written by Express News Service & PTI | Pune | Published:October 6, 2013 4:17 am

After the Bombay High Court directive,the Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation has decided to demolish 66,000 illegal structures that came up before March 2012 in its jurisdiction. Since last June,PCMC has been demolishing structures that came up after March 2012.

“We will take action against illegal structures that came up before March 2012 as soon as we receive the copy of the high court directive,” said Municipal Commissioner Shrikar Pardeshi on Saturday.

On Friday,the Bombay High Court pulled up the PCMC for allowing more than 66,000 illegal structures to come up in the town and warned that the civic chief would be held responsible if such situation continues.

Hearing a petition,a bench headed by Justice D Y Chandrachud observed on October 4,“This was an alarming state of affairs in the jurisdiction of the civic body and corrective measures should be undertaken forthwith.”

The civic body informed that out of 66,324 illegal structures,the civic body has demolished some structures that came up after March 2012 and for the rest,the corporation has submitted a proposal to the state to regularise them.

The judges said instead of taking action against illegal structures,the corporation,in most cases,had proposed to the state to regularise them. This was shocking and would only encourage illegal structures to come up in the town,the court noted.

The petition,filed by Jaishree Dange,alleged that a portion of New Millennium School in Sangvi was built illegally on Pavana riverbed. A garage and a restaurant were also built next to the school. These structures are polluting the river,which is a source of drinking water. The civic body,in an RTI reply,had admitted that a portion of the school was illegal.

The school management had sought two years’ time to relocate. The court however rejected this and said the school should demolish the illegal structure by May 31,2014. Civic officials said the court has directed the school to demolish the illegal structure on its own or else the civic body should demolish it.

School sources said they were awaiting the orders of the court. Though the court pulled up the PCMC,civic sources said due to political intervention PCMC could not demolish the illegal structures that came up before March 2012.

Top political leaders from different parties had agitated and pressured the government to announce that it would regularise the illegal structures that came up before March 2012. “Due to the state government’s announcement,the PCMC was put on the back foot. Otherwise the PCMC was determined to raze the structures that came up before March 2012. The PCMC chief had already started the action,but due to political intervention he had to stop the drive,” officials said.

Civic official said the court order has come as a shot in the arm of the PCMC administration,which will now go ahead with its drive. Since June 2012r,the PCMC headed by Shrikar Pardeshi has demolished nearly 400 structures and filed FIR against 2,400 citizens. “The figure of 400 structures is actually missing. Every building which houses say 50 flats is being counted as one structure. If we count that as 50 structures,then the demolition figure runs into thousands,” officials said.

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