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NMC yet to demolish over 85% of illegal structures

In an affidavit submitted in HC by deputy municipal commissioner (enforcement) Ashok Patil last year in April, the NMC informed that it found 1,544 illegal constructions and notices were issued to them under the Maharashtra Regional Town Planning (MRTP) Act for removal.

The Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) has failed to demolish over 85% of illegal structures in the city, even after repeated directives from the judiciary.

In its latest affidavit submitted in the Nagpur bench of Bombay high court last week through counsel Sudhir Puranik, the civic body informed that it has razed or removed only 1,368 of over 9,000 such unauthorised constructions, which means it only took action against 15% of those.

In an affidavit submitted in HC by deputy municipal commissioner (enforcement) Ashok Patil last year in April, the NMC informed that it found 1,544 illegal constructions and notices were issued to them under the Maharashtra Regional Town Planning (MRTP) Act for removal.

The NIT chairman in his affidavit mentioned that they found 4,675 such structures across its four divisions, of which 602 were removed. It added that 3,019 unauthorized structures were found under its jurisdiction and notices were issued to them.

Earlier, Puranik placed a pursis along with the minutes of a meeting convened on July 11 between the municipal commissioner, collector, NIT chairman and NMRDA commissioner.

“In the said meeting it is informed that steps for removing the encroachments identified would be taken. In view of the rainy season, action on residential properties could not be taken. It has been stated that steps for removing encroachments would be continued in accordance with law,” a division bench comprising justices Atul Chandurkar and Vrushali Joshi said, before adjourning the hearings of both suo motu PIL (Nos 1 and 2/2022) till August 23.

The directives came while hearing a PIL originally filed by Ajay Tiwari, which was converted into suo motu PILs after he withdrew the petitions on receiving notices from the civic authorities of staying in the illegal structure. Apurv De was appointed as amicus curiae to plead the case.

Tiwari had filed the case contending that the respondents, including NMC, NIT and NMRDA, granted approval for construction of houses but failed to act against them for carrying out illegal constructions and non-sanctioned alterations like misusing basement space reserved for parking for another purpose.

The respondents took an indemnity bond from house or flats occupants that they would demolish the illegal structures. However, no one complied with it and neither the respondents took any action against such unauthorized structures till date, the petitioner had pointed out.

On HC’s directives, a joint supervisory committee (JSC) was constituted on April 1, 2022. It comprises officials from the NMC, NIT and NMRDA. Its purpose is to curb the menace of increasing unauthorised constructions in the city. Headed by the NMC additional municipal commissioner, it also has NIT general manager, NMRDA additional commissioner and deputy collector (Nazul) as its members.

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