The Chandivali Citizens Welfare Association (CCWA) has been complaining through multiple tweets to BMC from time to time and drawing their attention to illegal encroachments being made on Adityavardhan Raheja Vihar Road. Encroachment started by building a small nursery, then temporary sheds, stealing light from the electric pole. In spite of our bringing the encroachments to their attention multiple times, BMC chose to remain a silent spectator.
As a result, at present, six illegal shops (concrete permanent structures) have been built without any permission from BMC.
Businesses like Tandoori Momos, Chinese Corner, and Vada Pav Shop using gas cylinders have been started in these encroached shops. No NOC from the fire department and permission from the FDA or BMC Public Health Department have not been obtained.
In my capacity as the Chandivali Ciitzens Welfare Association, along with society representatives, met Asst. BMC Commissioner (L ward) with a complaint letter demanding to clear encroachments from footpaths and demolish the illegal structures built. Asst. BMC Commissioner (L ward) has confirmed to CCWA that BMC has not given any permission to build any shop structure on the Adityavardhan road. He said BMC would serve notice to them.
BMC should have demolished the structure when it was built. CCWA has been continuously informing BMC via X (formerly Twitter) about the illegal encroachment.
Adityavardhan Raheja Vihar Road is now a hotspot for hooligans, who are a safety threat for ladies and kids in nearby societies.
After encroachment of these lands, the encroachers then moved to grab another piece of land on the same road and tried to build another three shops near the societies.
By protesting at the encroachment site, CCWA and members of the society were able to stop it, and the video has since gone viral on social media.
Modus operandi of Adityavardhan Raheja Vihar road footpath and land encroachers:
1) Generate a sale document without registering it. The mode of payment given to him was cash.
2) Register for a BMC gumasta license; manage to get a BMC gumasta license.
3) Based on the above proofs, get an electric and water connection.
4) Local Netas give the operation their blessing.
5) Each illegally encroached shop has an approximate market value of Rs. 1.5 crore.
CCWA demands immediate demolition of these illegal shops and gives relief to the nearby societies.
After receiving complaints from CCWA, on October 20, 2023, the Encroachment Removal Department of BMC wrote to Sakinaka and Powai police stations to file an FIR against footpath encroachers.
Mumbai police have to take stern action against footpath and land encroachers who are making a mockery of law and order. It wouldn’t be possible to put an end to this menace without the active involvement of Mumbai police along with the BMC.
It's surprising that Mumbai Police turns a blind eye to stalls using gas cylinders on footpaths. It is high time that the Mumbai Police invoke penal provisions and register an FIR against the footpath encroachers and stalls who are putting public life in danger by using gas cylinders on footpaths.
(Mandeep Singh Makkar, the author, is the founder of the Chandivali Citizens Welfare Association)