THE Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) will recover the cost of demolishing illegal constructions in Kapil Sharma’s bungalow from the stand-up comedian.
Civic officials said the BMC had razed the illegal construction atop and adjacent to the bungalow in Versova on August 4 since it got no response from Sharma to a notice issued in July. On July 16, the K (West) ward of the BMC had issued a notice to Sharma, asking him to stop the work immediately.
Officials cited provisions of the Mumbai Municipal Corporation (MMC) Act for recovering the demolition cost from Sharma. “We have recorded the number of machinery and manpower used for the demolition. We are in the process of calculating the exact demolition cost. Since all of us are busy with the Ganesh festival, a demand letter for recovery of the demolition cost will be issued only after the festival is over,” said Parag Masurkar, Assistant Municipal Commissioner of K (West) ward.
According to Section 489(1) of the MMC Act, if an illegal structure is demolished, the person involved in the violation should pay for it. If the person fails to pay the demolition cost, the amount is added to his or her property tax bills for recovery, an official said.
On Friday morning, Sharma tagged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to a Twitter post claiming that a BMC official had demanded a bribe of Rs 5 lakh for the construction of his office. Sharma was at the receiving end of activists and political parties as the civic body’s records indicated that the K (West) ward office had carried out demolition of illegal extensions atop and adjacent to his bungalow in Versova. Officials claimed these extensions had led to a portion of mangroves abutting the bungalow being destroyed.
In March last year, the BMC had also recovered the demolition cost of Rs 1.93 lakh from actor Shah Rukh Khan. The civic body had demolished an illegal ramp constructed outside his bungalow Mannat and issued him a notice to pay the cost of demolition.
Meanwhile, the Watchdog Foundation has written to Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, civic chief Ajoy Mehta, Union Ministry of Environment, Forests (MoEF) and others demanding action against the illegal construction violating the provisions of Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ). “The Google images for the year 2001 and 2013 clearly indicate that the bungalow in question has not only been extended horizontally on one side but also clearly reveal that the said bungalow has also been extended on the seaward side of an existing authorised structure. It is clearly a prohibited activity under the provisions of CRZ notification,” stated Godfrey Pimenta, trustee of the foundation.
Pimenta further demanded that the BMC should issue notice to all bungalow owners under Section 488 of MMC Act to evict the illegal occupants from structures that have violated the law.
N Vasudevan, Chief Conservator of Forests, state mangrove cell, said it had carried out inspection of the area and the land was not under reserve forests. “But we will carry out a detailed investigation to ascertain whether any mangrove have been destroyed,” he said.