February 26, 2009 11:26:13 pm
The Bombay High Court on Wednesday sought a reply from the chief secretary asking the reason why an earlier order regarding illegal constructions in Thane was not complied with. The court had on January 28 ordered a committee comprising chief secretary,principal secretaries of Urban Development,Rural Development,Finance,Energy and the director of municipal administration to submit report on what steps will be taken to deal with encroachment and pollution in Thane.
The committee was directed to give a timeframe not more than six months to implement the order. The government on Wednesday sought a court direction to relieve the chief secretary from the committee. The court,however,orally refused to agree to the request and directed the chief secretary to give the reasons in a week. The court was hearing three PILs on rampant unauhtorised construction in and around Vasai in Thane district.
Adovocate Uday Warunjikar,who appeared for the Harit Vasai Sanrakshan Samitee,one of the petitioners,had alleged that there were as many as five lakh illegal structures in the Thane district. The state government had last month told the court that it was planning to set up a civic police force to tackle illegal constructions.
An affidavit filed by Manu Kumar Shrivastav,secretary,Urban Development,had stated that the state was examining feasibility of setting up a 4-tier institutional framework. Policemen would be deputed for this purpose,he said. The court was also irked when a report by Maharashtra Pollution Control Board stated that municipal authorities at Vasai,Navaghar-Manikpur,Virar and Nalasopara were guilty of polluting Vasai creek. The affidavit by MPCB said criminal cases had been filed under the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act against concerned officers.
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