Mumbai: The Bombay High Court today directed the Additional Chief Secretary (Home) of the Maharashtra government to convene a meeting between the Commissioner of Police and Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation to address the issue of lack of coordination while carrying out demolition drive across the city. When the civic body carries out demolition drive against illegal construction and encroachments the local police has to provide security to the municipal body staff so as to avoid any untoward incident.
A division bench of Justices A S Oka and A K Menon was earlier informed by the BMC that in April this year when the Corporation had gone to suburban Tilak Nagar to demolish encroachments, the local police refused to provide security. The BMC had in its affidavit told the court that state cabinet minister Prakash Mehta had allegedly tried to interfere in the matter and had in fact even visited the local Tilak Nagar police station on April 15 when demolition was to be carried out.
The court today said there was a need to be put an endto such issues. “This cannot go on. There is complete lack of coordination between the police and civic body. In such casesof demolition drives only the local police will be aware of who are the troublemakers in that particular area,” the court said.
“This has to be sorted at a senior level. We direct the Additional Chief Secretary of the State Home department to immediately convene a meeting with the Commissioner of Police and Commissioner of BMC and work out a scheme by which proper coordination is established between the two authorities,” Justice Oka said. The court directed the Additional Chief Secretary to take appropriate decision and file an affidavit by June 22.
“The Additional Chief Secretary shall also lay down a protocol for all actions that will be taken by the BMC in future in compliance with the High Court orders in this case,” the court said. The bench was hearing a Public interest Litigation filed by NGO Janhit Manch, seeking that the encroachments along all major water pipelines that run through the city must be removed considering the security threats and the risks of contamination of water that they pose. The court had earlier directed the civic body to demolish all such encroachments on the city’s pipelines.