The Bombay High Court recently pulled up the Thane Collector as also officials of the MIDC and other authorities for turning a blind eye to the illegal constructions, especially on the stretch between Thane and Nashik. The HC has ordered the authorities to file their responses in the matter by Monday.
A bench of Justices Shahrukh Kathawalla and Milind Jadhav was hearing a plea filed by one Khan Gulam Ahmed Mohammed Hanif, alleging rampant illegal constructions on the stretch of road the connects Thane and Nashik.
One such unauthorized construction was highlighted by Hanif in a complaint he filed with the Sub-Divisional Officer (SDO) and also the Tahsildar of Bhiwandi Division in the second week of August this year.
In his complaint, Hanif had annexed the response of the Town Planning Department, which in May this year had clearly stated that the said construction was unauthorized one.
"Photographs of such construction produced before the Court show the magnitude of the unauthorized construction being carried out," the bench noted in it's September 28 orders.
The judges, further noted that the SDO had sent Hanif's complaint just two days before the matter was to be heard in the HC.
"Realizing that the authorities are making a mockery of their duties i.e by sending a serious complaint ofunauthorized construction to the Tahsildar, Bhiwandi just two days before the matter is to be heard," the bench had ordered the Collector, Thane to remain present in the court through video conferencing (VC).
The collector while on VC told the judges that site in question is yet to be inspected and that the same would be inspected by relevant officials on September 30.
"When we questioned the Collector as to why inspection of such unauthorized construction which isprogressing everyday is kept after more than a month, the answer given is that they were trying to verify whether the persons who have put up the said construction have obtained permission from MIDC or any other Statutory Authority," the bench noted, adding, "The answer given by the Collector, Thane is not at all convincing. Such verification if at all required, could have been carried out forthwith and the inspection was certainly not required to be fixed after more than 40 days from the date of receipt of the complaint by the Tahsildar".
"In fact, we are informed that on the entire stretch of land from Thane to Nashik Road, such unauthorized constructions are put up by people, however no action is being taken by the Authorities for reasons best known to them," the judges noted in their orders.
"We have repeatedly noted that the statutory authorities are turning ablind eye to the unauthorized constructions. The reason for such conduct is obvious and need not be elaborated in this Order," the bench added.
The bench accordingly had adjourned the matter till October 1 for the Collector to spell out the outcome of the inspection of the site in question. However, the MIDC, another authority concerned in the matter, didn't file any response.
The bench has now adjourned the hearing till Monday.
(To receive our E-paper on whatsapp daily, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)