While BMC on Wednesday demolished unauthorised constructions at Kangana Ranaut’s office premises in Bandra’s Pali Hill within 24 hours of issuing a stop work notice to the actor, it had taken action in only 10.47 per cent of the complaints of illegal constructions it had received from 2016 to 2019.
According to data received under the Right to Information (RTI) Act, between January 2016 to July 2019, BMC has received over 94,000 complaints regarding illegal constructions. However, it has taken action in only over 5,400 cases.
To tackle illegal and unauthorised constructions across the city, BMC had in 2016 started Removal of Encroachment Tracking Management System (RETMS).
Activist Shakeel Shaikh had filed an RTI appeal in 2019 seeking information on complaints received by BMC regarding illegal construction and what action had been taken on them.
The RTI reply shows that between January 2016 and July 2019, RETMS had received 94,851 complaints on illegal construction. Among them, 42,697 complaints were related to similar cases. Of the remaining 52,124 complaints received, BMC took action on 5,462 – in only 10.47 per cent cases, demolition work was undertaken.
“The BMC took prompt action in Kangana’s case but when will action be taken against other illegal constructions flourishing in the city? In many cases, BMC officials do not demolish the illegal structures but only show that it had been done on paper,” said Shaikh.
“In the last few years, many buildings have collapsed in the city and in almost all cases, illegal construction was one of the reasons,” he added.
When contacted, BJP MLA Ameet Satam said BMC should show the same swiftness in case of other illegal constructions. “BMC’s action (on Ranaut’s office) is shameful. The civic body skipped the due process of law and demolished Ranauat’s office. Many buildings at Bandra Band stand have illegal constructions, when will BMC take action against them?” he added.