The Bombay High Court Tuesday rapped the state for not enforcing its own government resolution on demolishing illegal religious shrines that came up after September 29, 2009. Pointing to the complete failure on the part of the state machinery, the court said it had managed to demolish only a quarter of such structures.
The state had issued a government resolution by which it had to start demolishing illegal shrines by November 18, 2015. The demolition was to be completed within nine months. The court said there was hardly any resistance to demolition of such structures that could be cited as an excuse. “This public interest litigation has been pending for so long. No one has come forward and opposed it,” pointed out Justice A S Oka.
Justice A S Oka and Justice A A Sayyed were hearing a PIL filed by NGO Society for Fast Justice against illegal shrines in the city.
Around 15,000 such structures are yet to be demolished in the corporation area. With the state seeking extension of time for taking action, the court said, “Where is the undertaking that the remaining structures will be demolished if the time is extended by three months.”
Looking at the figures submitted by the BMC, the High Court questioned if only four illegal shines were identified in Mumbai as reflected in the chart produced before them. “Are you serious? If this is the case we will have to form a committee to examine all such structures in Mumbai,” said the bench. The court has now sought clarity on figures submitted by the state government and the civic body.