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Bombay HC pulls up BMC for failing to act against illegal encroachments

The bench said such temporary structures are built on pavements and roads with the help of local mafia and municipal officials

Press Trust of India  |  Mumbai 

Kamala Mills fire: BMC crack down on illegally constructed eateries, pubs in Kamala Mills Compound
FILE PHOTO: A bulldozer takes down illegally constructed eateries in Kamala Mills Compound following the fire incident, in Mumbai. BS Photo by Kamlesh Pednekar

The Bombay High Court on Wednesday pulled up the for its failure to act against illegal encroachments on roads and pavements, saying the Mumbai civic body needs to put its house in order or outsource the municipal governance. The remarks were made by a division bench of justices S C Dharmadhikari and R I Chagla which was hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) on the issue of illegal structures on pavements in suburban Andheri.

The bench noted that despite repeated orders, the (BMC) failed to initiate action or ensure that those structures do not crop up again.

"The corporation needs to put its house in order or outsource the whole municipal governance... that will be the best thing to do," the judges said.

While the has been claiming that it demolished all the illegal encroachments and structures, petitioner S G P Barnes said the temporary structures have come up again.

"We fail to understand how the municipal corporation has not been able to deal with this menace. Because of the civic body's failure to address these issues and other complaints raised by the public, people are forced to approach courts seeking orders," the bench said.

"The does not do its job forcing people to approach courts. The high court has been reduced to a ward office," Justice Dharmadhikari said.

The bench said such temporary structures are built on pavements and roads with the help of local mafia and municipal officials.

"The BMC turns a blind eye due to which it has now become impossible to even walk on footpaths and pavements," it said.

The bench has sought a compliance report from the civic body within two weeks.

First Published: Wed, November 20 2019. 18:35 IST
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