Pimpri-Chinchwad is bracing for another round of demolitions. Despite politicians rushing to the Chief Minister’s Office to get an order passed for stopping the drive, the PCMC administration seems determined to initiate a special drive starting April 1.
The administration on Saturday said it was undertaking the drive following a directive from the Bombay High Court. “We are launching a special drive against illegal constructions from April 1. It will last a month,” said Municipal Commissioner Rajeev Jadhav.
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As to the kind of illegal constructions that will be top priority of the administration, Jadhav said his officials had prepared a schedule. Speaking on whether structures that have been extended without permission or those constructed on land reserved in the development plan for roads or civic amenities would be demolished on priority, Jadhav said illegal constructions are a priority of the administration.
The PCMC chief refused to comment on speculation about the state government likely announcing its decision vis-a-vis legalising the structures. “I am not aware of any such development,” he said.
Meanwhile, the PCMC administration seems to be least bothered about the apparent threat by Bhosari MLA Mahesh Landge who had two days back said that he would not allow a single illegal structure in Bhosari to be demolished. The PCMC chief said that the special demolition drive will cover all areas of Pimpri-Chinchwad and will make no concession for any suburb. Civic officials said Bhosari will be treated like any other suburb.
Civic officials said there are over 66,000 illegal constructions in Pimpri-Chinchwad. This was the figure the civic administration-led by then PCMC commissioner Shrikar Pardeshi placed before the Bombay High Court two years back. The administration had placed the figure before the HC after Jayshree Dange, a resident of Sangvi, moved court complaining about a school that was constructed in the river bed. The school was demolished by the civic administration following directions from the HC.
During Shrikar Pardeshi’s tenure, Pimpri-Chinchwad had seen unprecedented demolitions. The Pardeshi-led administration had flattened hundreds of illegal structures across the industrial town. Pardeshi received seven threats to his life, but his administration remain undeterred.
Under pressure from NCP politicians, the Prithviraj Chavan government had transferred Shrikar Pardeshi out of Pimpri-Chinchwad. The drive had then slowed down.
Jayshree Dange whose petition in the HC triggered the demolition spree in Pimpri-Chinchwad had threatened to file a contempt plea against PCMC. “PCMC demolished the school in river bed in Sangvi, but the debris still block the natural flow of river. If PCMC does not act, I will be forced to file contempt petition against the civic body,” she said.