Despite sending demolition notices, the BMC has neither demolished the unauthorised fruit stalls nor recovered over ₹11 crore towards Permission Fee from the stall holders, running a “fruit market” at Shimpoli in Borivali in North Mumbai for the last seven years.
Advocate Mukesh Gupta, in a letter dated November 1, to the municipal commissioner has sought a departmental inquiry against the officers responsible for this serious lapse.
The unauthorised fruit market came up when one Rajiv Rammurti Mishra on May 28, 2016 obtained the permission from the BMC, to hold a “fruit festival” from May 10,2016 to July 11,2016 on the plot (CTS 22A/1A, Survey No 04) located opposite Shimpoli pumping station. The plot belonging to a private party is reserved for Recreational Ground (RG) under the Development Control and PromotionRegulation-2034 (DCPR-2034). However, an “Apna Fal Bazar” has been running on the plot since 2016 t, Mr Gupta pointed out.
Although the stalls existed since 2016, the BMC inspected the plot only on July 27 this year and found unauthorized sheds spread over the 3,160 square mtrs. On the same day, Mishra submitted a fresh application in the name of “Apna Phal Bazar Trust” seeking regularisation of the structures, as per the temporary permission given to him on May 28,2016.
On July 28 this year, the Executive Engineer, BMC’s R Central ward, Dharmendra Kantharia issued notice directing that the stalls be removed within seven days.
On August 02, Mishra submitted a fresh letter stating that 140 stalls existed since 2016 as per earlier permission. The BMC planned the demolition on August 8, but never carried it out. No action was taken by the BMC from August 08 to September 08. On September 09, Kantharia issued the order to the “Apna Fruit Market” to demolish the stalls within 24 hours. However they were neither removed by the shopkeepers nor the BMC.
Mumbai Fire Brigade and BMC’s joint inspection
Again no action was taken from September 10 to October 04. The Mumbai Fire Brigade and BMC’s Health department carried out a joint inspection on October 6 and seized some illegally stored LPG cylinders and stoves from the premises. On October 16, the Fire Brigade in a letter to the BMC pointed out that the activities be stopped immediately and the inspection be carried out.
On the same day, in a public grievance meeting, the Assistant Municipal Commissioner directed Kantharia to demolition the stalls immediately. However they were not demolished.
Speaking to the FPJ, Kantharia said that the unauthorized stalls will be removed and the BMC’s dues will be recovered soon. Senior Police Inspector Ninad Sawant of Borivali police station said the police protection was provided to the BMC many times earlier but the required demolition was never carried out.
Mishra said that the stalls should be regularised because they existed since 2016. Besides, no dangerous activities are being carried out on the plot.