Even as politicians in Pimpri-Chinchwad are going all out to stall the drive against illegal structures,the Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) has quietly started demolishing illegal structures that were set up before March 31,2012. All this while,the civic body had been demolishing structures that were set up after March 31,2012. The action comes in the wake of Bombay High Court directive,which was issued last month.
Last month,PCMC had demolished 11 structures that were occupied and set up before March 31,2012. However,the PCMC action on these structures was kept under wraps,presumably to avoid public protests. On its part,the PCMC administration was quick to issue updates on demolished structures and filed FIRs without evoking protests.
This is because we have been facing lot of resistance. We had been demolishing structures that were set up after March 31,2012, which were not occupied. Now,we are demolishing structures that came up before March 31,2012, said Municipal Commissioner Shrikar Pardeshi.
Since June-July last year,PCMC has been going hammer and tongs against illegal structures. So far,it has demolished as many as 462 structures and have filed 2,094 FIRs against residents.
Hearing a petition filed by Pimpri-Chinchwad resident in November,a high court bench,headed by Justice D Y Chandrachud,observed that there was an alarming state of affairs in connection with the illegal structures in PCMC and corrective measures should be take to address the issue. The petition by Jaishree Dange had alleged that a portion of New Millennium School in Sangvi was constructed illegally on the Pavana riverbed. A garage and a restaurant were also set up adjacent to the school. These structures polluted the Pavana river,which is a source of drinking water.
According to an affidavit presented before the Bombay High Court,there are over 60,000 illegal structures in Pimpri-Chinchwad. However,the PCMC later clarified that the figure was 25,000.