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Monday, March 08, 2021

25,000 illegal structures built in Covid period on PCMC radar

On why action against illegal constructions is not initiated when they come up, Makarand Nikam, joint city engineer, PCMC, said: “When our beat marshals notice illegal constructions, we serve notice to those who built them...”

Written by Manoj Dattatrye More | Pune |
Updated: February 12, 2021 1:40:37 am
Bhojne said a staff of 150, which includes civic officials and police officers, is demolishing the illegal structures. (Express photo: Rajesh Stephen)

THE PIMPRI-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC), which started a demolition drive against illegal constructions on February 1, has as many as 25,000 structures on its radar. These constructions are spread across the industrial city.

As per an estimation, there could be around 50,000 illegal constructions that came up during the 10-month period of pandemic-induced closure. However, civic officials said the figure would be less than 50,000.

“I don’t think the number of illegal structures stands at 50,000. Though a survey says there are 50,000 structures, we estimate the figure to be lower than that,” a PCMC official said.

Deputy Engineer Vijay Bhojne said, “We are not ruling out the possibility of around 25,000 illegal structures that came up during the 10-month period.”

On why action against illegal constructions is not initiated when they come up, Mankrand Nikam, joint city engineer, PCMC, said: “When our beat marshals notice illegal constructions, we serve notice to those who built them…”

Nikam added that each illegal construction is served the notice of demolition. “We give them sufficient time to demolish the structures. If they don’t do it, we then carry out the task,” he said.

Bhojne said a team of 150 workers, including civic officials and police officers, are carrying out the task of demolishing the illegal structures. “An assistant commissioner of police, five sub-inspectors and six assistant police inspectors remain present during the drive,” he added.

Municipal Commissioner Shravan Hardikar said the drive started only after the Bombay High Court lifted the stay granted on January 31. “We could not undertake the drive due to pandemic-related restrictions. The drive has now started across the industrial city,” he added.

The drive, which started from Chikhli, has moved to Sangvi, a stronghold of BJP MLA Laxman Jagtap. Even Mayor Usha Dhore hails from Sangvi. Civic officials said Sangvi, Gurav Pimple and Bhosari are the suburubs with highest number of illegal structures due to political patronage.

Jagtap said: “The PCMC should demolish illegal structures as they put unnecessary strain on civic amenities. Illegal structures on narrow roads affect the smooth flow of traffic. These should be demolished on priority basis.”

Bhojne said till February 10, they have demolished 160 illegal structures and the drive will continue across the city.

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