Mumbai: A day after the National Green Tribunal (NGT) revoked the stay on demolition, the BMC took action against five illegal film studios at Madh, Erangal and Batti areas in Malad on Friday morning. Around 10 engineers and 40 civic employees along with heavy police force were deployed on the demolition site. “It will take us two more days to completely demolish the five studios,” said a civic official.
The BMC has received complaints from citizens alleging that several illegal studios had been constructed at a no-development zone (NDZ) and coastal regulatory zone (CRZ) at Madh-Marve between 2021-2022. A BJP leader had alleged that the studios were built without permission and fraudulent documents were used in violation of Maharashtra Coastal Zone Management Authority (MCZMA) rules. Taking a serious note of it, BMC chief Iqbal Singh Chahal had ordered an inquiry by Deputy Municipal Commissioner Harshad Kale in September 2022.
Around 10 engineers and 40 civic employees along with heavy police force were deployed for demolition | Swapnil Sakhare
20 film shooting studios inspected in 2022, show-cause notice issued
Last year, the civic officials had conducted inspections of around 20 film shooting studios. The BMC had issued show-cause notices to owners of some studios that were found to have misused permissions and built permanent structures instead of temporary ones. “Some of the studio owners have removed their structure themselves, while some constructions were demolished by the BMC. However, Balaji Tirupati Cinemas, a studio operator, had approached the Bombay High Court and got a stay on the demolition of five studios. The NGT's ruling on the appeal filed by the studio owners did not come in their favour,” said a civic official.
As per the permission, the structure was to be set up for six months and thereafter, the same had to be removed so that the place could be restored to its earlier position, stated the NGT order.