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Sunday, October 25, 2020

BMC gives push to proposal to regularise illegal police chowkies

In a recent order, the Bombay High Court gave the Mumbai Police and the BMC 10 weeks to decide the fate of illegally constructed police chowkies.

Written by Sanjana Bhalerao | Mumbai | March 4, 2020 10:04:08 pm
Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation, mumbai city news, mumbai news, maharashtra news, indian express news Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (Express File Photo)

Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) Commissioner Praveen Pardeshi on Wednesday directed the building proposals department and the respective ward officers to look into the Mumbai Police’s proposal to regularise 189 police chowkies across the city.

In a meeting with Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh on Wednesday, Pardeshi discussed the proposal to regularise police chowkies, among other issues. The Mumbai Police had submitted the proposal, along with a list of 189 chowkies, to the civic body on Sunday.

In a recent order, the Bombay High Court gave the Mumbai Police and the BMC 10 weeks to decide the fate of illegally constructed police chowkies — the Mumbai Police has built 189 across the city over several decades without the civic body’s permission. These chowkies were often built with funds from local businesses, charities and politicians and on land owned by the civic body.

Police sources said the chowkies had been constructed urgently, in areas far away from police stations and at sensitive and strategic points where 24-hour vigil was vital, so it had not been possible to wait for permission from the BMC. And they were built on land owned by the BMC since the police does not own sufficient plots, a source said.

Mumbai Police is seeking post-facto permission from the BMC for these structures. The building proposals department will check and regularise chowkies that fit norms laid out in Mumbai’s Development Control Regulations.

A senior police official had said if the BMC refuses to regularise the structures, the police will have to demolish and rebuild them after seeking permission from the BMC. In the meeting on Wednesday, the two commissioners also discussed several issues affecting the city, like traffic congestion, abandoned vehicles on roads and under flyovers, illegal parking near bus stops and debris dumping. Sources said the BMC has identified a land parcel in Taloja under the ownership of the MMRDA where abandoned vehicles will be transported before auctioning.

In the meeting, Singh directed the Mumbai Police to assist the BMC in taking action against illegally parked vehicles. Pardeshi directed civic officials to provide the list of complaints against illegal dumping to Mumbai Police for appropriate action to be taken.

Some of the chowkies on the list are at landmarks like Flora Fountain, Crawford Market, Girgaum Chowpatty, August Kranti Maidan, Juhu Beach, the Arrivals gate at Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport, outside Grant Road, Mumbai Central, Vile Parle, Vikhroli and Kanjurmarg railway stations, educational institutes like Ruia College and IIT Bombay and densely populated slums and housing projects in Kandivali, Mankhurd and Santacruz.

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