Mumbai: The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) which several times has received the flak for turning a blind eye against the illegal structures, is in news this time for its timely action. The Andheri K east civic ward officials due to their alertness and regular round-ups in their ward found a hotel was being constructed illegally by the land mafias in the broad daylight at Sahar road of Andheri, near Mumbai airport.
When the incharge of the civic ward Assistant Commissioner Prashant Sapkale was told by his subordinates about the illegal work being carried out, he immediately decided to act against it. “Before razing the structure the land mafia was sent the stop-work notice. Since they continued the illegal construction work, a caveat was filed in the court so they won’t secure a stay on the demolition,” said Sapkale.
Sapkale is the same civic official whose name had appeared after a massive fire broke out at one of the open terrace restaurants Mojo Bistro at Kamala Mills compound, located at Lower Parel on December 29. The fire grabbed headlines over the apathy of civic body to take action against illegal hotels, pubs, and restaurants who are operating without any fear even today. After the incident, the officer was transferred to Andheri’s K east civic ward immediately. It is believed that to avoid any further flak from citizens and higher authority the officer took action against the illegal structure, which is being appreciated.
From Thursday evening 4 pm till Friday morning; August 9 and 10, the demolition work was carried out continuously for more than 12 hours. “My team was on task as they had to face a lot of problems. The land mafia had sent his bouncers to create fear in the minds of officers who were doing their duties diligently. Even then, the demolition work did not stop,” Sapkale said.
Due to BMC’s alertness, the piece of land at one of the Mumbai’s prominent place was acquired back. The illegal structure build was meant for a hotel and spread on a 10,000 square metre of the area at Andheri Sahar Road. During demolition, the structure was constructed up to three-storeyed consisting around 30 rooms. Besides this, the developer tried to convince BMC that the plot was of Mumbai Metropolitan Development Authority (MMRDA) so that the civic body would not take against it. But the clarification had come from the MMRDA, the plot does not belong to them and so the structure was pulled down by 30 labourers without any further delay.