KDMC Demolishes 1,687 Illegal Structures Following Bombay High Court Directive

KDMC Demolishes 1,687 Illegal Structures Following Bombay High Court Directive

Commissioner has said officers of respective areas will be held responsible for illegal construction

Urvi MahajaniUpdated: Wednesday, March 27, 2024, 12:53 AM IST
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Bombay HC | File

After a rap from the Bombay High Court, the Kalyan Dombivali Municipal Corporation (KDMC) informed on Tuesday that it had demolished 1,687 structures and four multi-storey structures within its city limits. Also, the KDMC commissioner has said that its officers will be held responsible for illegal construction in their respective areas.

The action was initiated by KDMC following a high court directive in January.

The affidavit was submitted by the KDMC in response to a PIL by a resident Harishchandra Mhatre alleging that more than 1.65 illegal structures exist on lands owned by the KDMC and the state government. The high court, on January 24, had directed the KDMC to not only demolish illegal structures and encroachments in its city limits but also take steps to prevent it in future.

AS Rao, advocate for KDMC, said as per KDMC records of the last three years, there are about 28,847 properties where the tax receipts were stamped as “without prejudice to the action taken against illegal construction”. A survey was conducted and it will initiate action under the Maharashtra Municipal Corporation Act and Maharashtra Regional and Town Planning Act. In case of occupied structures, it will take help from the police, Rao said.

The civic body has said that it has to pause its action due to the declaration of the Model Code of Conduct for parliamentary elections and also most of its staff has been engaged in election-related duty.

“The Election Commission of India vide its letter dated 19.2.2024 informed that in the interest of free and fair elections and to maintain the fidelity of the electoral rolls, the demolition / eviction drives shall be temporarily suspended and shall not be carried out by government agencies between the completion of general election,” the affidavit stated. It has assured the court that after completion of the code of conduct, KDMC will restart its action.

The civic body has said that MSEDCL has not acceded to its request to insist for an NOC from KDMC before granting new electricity connections.

As far as keeping a check on new illegal structures is concerned, KDMC has instructed its officers to “adopt zero tolerance policy against the new unauthorized constructions”. The KDMC commissioner, in a meeting, had emphasised that all the designated officers will be made responsible for newly constructed unauthorised constructions in their area.

As far as encroachment on state land is concerned, tita affidavit stated that it has “planned all possible permissible steps to remove illegal constructions and encroachments”.

The HC has kept the matter for hearing on July 8.

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