Free Press Journal

HC to civic bodies: Track illegal constructions through GPS


Mumbai: The Bombay High Court has asked civic bodies across Maharashtra to keep track of illegal constructions mushrooming in their jurisdiction through Global Positioning System (GPS) satellites.

The suggestion was made a couple of days ago by a Division Bench of Justices N H Patil and V L Achiliya while hearing a public interest litigation (PIL).

The PIL has alleged rampant corruption in the Ulhasnagar Municipal Corporation, which it said, sanctioned 110 building proposals in 2010 without following norms.

“Is it not possible to keep track of such illegal constructions through GPS satellites? With it, the authorities can see if a building (developer), who has been given permission to only construct two floors, has added more floors illegally,” Justice Patil said.

“If such a technology is not available now then it may be considered in future. It can be initiated by all the corporations,” the court said.     The Bench directed the advocate appearing for the Ulhasnagar civic body to take instructions from the Municipal Commissioner in this regard and get back to it in two weeks.

The PIL, filed by one Ravi Talreja, alleged the then town planner A P Gurgule, in collusion with civic officials, had granted either permission or regularised 110 unauthorised structures in contravention of the Development Control Regulations (DCR).

The Bench was informed by the state government that an inquiry has been initiated against Gurgule.

In 2005, the HC, hearing another PIL, had ordered demolition of 855 buildings in Ulhasnagar, a township in adjoining Thane district, which had come up in violation of DCR rules.