In order to prevent any untoward incident, the state government decided to regularise need-based constructions in Thane, Raigad, Navi Mumbai, Panvel and Uran areas. The state government issued a notification in Feb 2022 and allowed construction up to 500m of the gaonthan (village) periphery which can be regularised by paying a charge.
However, civic activists say that regularising those structures, constructed out of need, will not be easy. “The state government must decide parameters on which a need-based structure can be regularised. The first or second floor constructed on the existing building can be accepted, following a rise in the number of members. However, fresh construction on a 1000sq m open plot also falls in the need-based construction. This needs to be rethought,” said Mr Rajeev Mishra, a civic activist who had raised the illegal structures issue in Digha (Airoli), and the High Court directed to demolish 99 illegal buildings based on his PIL.
“The government resolution says that need-based constructions must be carried out as per the law like with a provision of fire, passage, and others mentioned in the MRTP Act,” said Mr Mishra. He added that many of the structures do not meet all these provisions.
According to Mr Mishra the decision seems to have been taken to lure voters ahead of the civic election in Navi Mumbai. “It will be a challenge before villagers to prove the structure is genuinely need-based while regularising,” added Mr Mishra.
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