Day after the building collapse in Mumbra,Thane Municipal Commissioner R A RAJEEV speaks to SUKANYA SHANTHA about the challenges before the civic body in curbing illegal constructions
Does your office have actual figure of the illegal structures that are built in Mumbra and around?
When almost 90 per cent of the structures here are illegal,what figures would the office collate. Our estimated figure is of approximately 2,000 structures that have cropped up in last few years.
What actions have been initiated by the corporation?
During my tenure alone I have ordered demolition of nearly 16,000 structures,big and small. Some extensions to the existing building,some newly constructed. We demolish one structure here,another crops up nearby. Buildings are so daringly built so close that one can walk from one roof to another. Our JCB cranes find it tough to reach out to these buildings,but builders continue to construct in small alleys.
If TMC is aware of these illegal structures,why not much has been done to bring these violators to book?
Mumbra is one of the toughest regions under TMC. Owing to its communally sensitive nature,builders engage politicians and locals to create trouble each time out officials go with a notice. There has been riot- like situation in the past. Families would stage Namaz ,when we tried razing down a few structures.
What actions have you initiated against your officers?
Although we have put Deputy Municipal Commissioner Dipak Chavan under suspension,this particular case is not so much of our responsibility as much a forest departments look out. While a series of complaints were filed with their department,not one complaint was taken seriously. We have communicated this to the government.
Any plans to regularise these structures?
Two-and-half years ago I submitted a proposal for a cluster development programme for Mumbra. The proposal is stuck at the government level.