The Bombay High Court on Thursday pulled up the municipal authorities as well as the state government for slow progress in demolishing illegal religious structures across Maharashtra.
The court has now asked all authorities to ensure that such structures are demolished as per deadline by August 17, 2016.
Justice A S Oka and Justice C V Bhadang were hearing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by the Society for Fast Justice, an NGO, against illegal shrines in the city.
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The state government had issued a Government Resolution (GR) according to which it had to start demolishing all illegal religious shrines that have sprung up after September 2009 by November 18, 2015. The demolition is supposed to be completed within nine months.
“The process of demolition is slow. We have made it clear that the authorities need to meet the deadline. As directed earlier, it is the duty of the state to ensure adequate police protection to all authorities. If need be, the state should issue orders to all corporations stating that religious structures should not be constructed without permission besides issuing further orders to municipal authorities to take preventive steps,” said the court.
According to the data provided by Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), there are 739 illegal religious structures out of which 482 were constructed after September 2009.
While four structures have been demolished so far, 478 still have to be demolished. Meanwhile, 221 structures need to be regularised out of which 207 have been regularised.
Nine such structures need to be shifted.
According to state, 881 illegal religious structures are there excluding those in BMC area. Only 10 percent of such structures have been demolished.