Updated: March 6, 2021 8:08:24 pm
In the last one month, the anti-encroachment department of the Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) has demolished as many as 254 illegal structures across the industrial city. PCMC officials said over 10,000 illegal structures are on their radar and the drive will continue to its logical conclusion.
The drive started on February 1 after the Bombay High Court lifted the stay on January 31 on demolitions. “As per a private survey, at least 25,000 illegal structures came up during the lockdown period. But we think the figure could be between 10-15,000. We have also done our own assessment,” PCMC executive engineer Vijay Bhojne told The Indian Express on Friday.
Bhojne said till March 4, 254 illegal structures have been demolished. “The action was taken on structures spread over 2.48 lakh square feet. The demolished structures included tin sheds, commercials shops, private offices, hotels, restaurants and even residential buildings,” he said.
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“Action was also taken in the Sangvi and Pimple Gurav areas, where BJP MLA Laxman Jagtap lives. Jagtap, who calls the shots in the PCMC’s functioning, said he does not support illegal structures. “Illegal structures should be demolished. They don’t have my protection,” he said.
Bhojne said Rahatni bore the brunt of civic action, as 45 unauthorised structures were demolished in the suburb. “This is followed by Wadamukwadi, where 40 structures were razed and Mosh, where 39 structures were demolished,” he said.
Civic officials said in 2014, the PCMC had submitted before the High Court that there were 65,000 illegal structures that had come up over the years. “However, the current drive is only against those structures that came up during the lockdown period,” said officials.
Bhojne said illegal structures are demolished only after they serve a seven-day notice to the concerned citizens. “If they don’t act on their own, we demolish the structures,” he said. Civic officials said the cost of demolition has to be recovered from citizens, but they rarely pay up.
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