Thursday, Oct 23, 2014

Katraj: 2 booked for illegal construction; baby’s body found

Written by Express News Service | Pune | Posted: June 13, 2013 1:43 am

The Pune rural police have lodged an offence against Kisan Dhavji Rathod and his brother Pandit Dhavji Rathod for their alleged unauthorised constructions on and around the Katraj Hill,which are believed to have caused the flashfloods during the rains at Shindewadi last Thursday.

A car was washed away as gushing water and debris from the hill caused water logging near the Katraj tunnel at Shindewadi,causing the death of a woman and a child. The body of the woman,identified as Vishakha Sachin Wadekar (31),was found on June 7.

In spite of a massive search operation,the body of her one-and-a-half-year daughter Sanskruti could not be found until Wednesday afternoon. Her body was found behind the Mauli garden building,about 4 km from where the incident took place.

Bhor tehsildar Ramchandra Choube filed a complaint of unauthrorised constructions against the Rathods at Rajgad police station late on Tuesday evening. “We have booked the Rathods under Sections 52,53 of the Maharashtra Regional and Town Planning Act 1966. Apparently,an accidental death case has been registered in connection with the death of the mother-daughter duo due to the flood at Shindewadi.

Investigation of the accidental deaths is being carried out separately. “If the investigation reveals that Rathods were responsible for these deaths,action would be initiated against them as per law,” said additional superintendent of police Ravindrasinh Pardeshi.

As per the complaint,district administration had repeatedly issued notices to Rathod for unauthorised constructions on Katraj hill. He allegedly carried out construction work on a 2800-square-feet area on survey number 112/A. It damaged the natural drainage system and affected the natural flow of water,which is believed to have caused the floods.

In fact,the district administration had fined him twice. In April 2011,a fine of Rs 56,57,300 was imposed on him. Then in January 2013,a fine of Rs 12,71,200 was imposed on him again. But on both the occasions,he did not pay the fine and managed to get a stay order over the case.

Recently,a notice was issued to him on February 7,2013 for the same reason. He was asked to stop the construction work by February 28. But he continued with it,including an automobile service station,all of which was razed during a special anti-encroachment drive on Tuesday.

The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) had also issued a notice to Rathod in August 2011 for the same offence. In 2011,NHAI had also written to the district collector,sending along with it photographs and videos of the constructions in question. Still,Rathod refused to stop the unauthorised construction.

Citizen finds Sanskruti’s body

While a massive search operation for the body of the baby girl,Sanskruti Wadekar,did not yield any result,a citizen found it wedged behind Mauli garden building on Wednesday afternoon.

Around 1.40 pm on Wednesday,activist Rajendra Jaju,who is part of a group of social activists and local residents,who carried out searches on their own,found the body.

Jaju said,“We were searching for the body since morning. We were in touch with a policeman. We found Saraswati’s body in a decomposed state behind Mauli continued…

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