In addition to announcing immediate corrective action against errant officers in connection with the Mumbra building collapse,Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan Friday spoke about the need for long-term measures to improve housing stock in urban areas of the Mumbai Metropolitan area.
Replicating Mumbais Slum Rehabilitation Scheme in Thane and bringing in uniform Development Control Rules for the entire MMR were some of the solutions he announced to solve the problem of illegal constructions.
Chavan,along with Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar and Thanes Guardian Minister Ganesh Naik visited the site of the collapse and the two hospitals on Friday to meet the injured. Later,while replying in the legislative assembly and council,Chavan admitted that almost 80 per cent of structures in Mumbra are illegal and that 1,159 illegal structures across Thanes municipal limits are in a dilapidated state and another 57 are in a very dangerous condition. Together,these house close to 88,000 people.
Chavan announced the immediate suspension of deputy municipal commissioner of Zone 1 of the TMC Dipak Chavan and senior police inspector Kishor Naik of the Shil-Daighar police station. If the land falls under forest area,the regional forest officer will be suspended too,he said. A committee under the additional chief secretary has been formed to probe into the matter. This panel will take a detailed look at all those involved including officials responsible for water and electricity supply to the building.
The building had none of the required permissions. As per municipal records,it is unclear whether the survey number of the plot on which it came up is 72 or 92…. Once we know whether it falls under forest area or tribal area we will take further action, he said.
The long-term solutions Chavan presented focused on solving the larger issue of affordable housing crunch and stressed the need to introduce schemes such as the Slum Rehabilitation Authority and cluster redevelopment in Thane.
Oppn slams CM
Opposition members in the legislature came down heavily on the government,blaming it for failing to break the builder-official-politician nexus that is in the middle of the flourishing business of illegal construction in Thane. Leader of Opposition in the legislative council Vinod Tawde said over 250 people had died due to building collapse in Thane in five years but not a single official or public representative has been booked till date. Forty-seven per cent urbanisation has happened in the state but housing laws are obsolete, he said.