The Nagpur district has 9,753 unauthorised constructions, but only 917 have either been demolished or removed, mentions an affidavit submitted by the government and civic authorities to the Nagpur bench of Bombay high court.
The affidavit was the outcome of a joint meeting held by collector R Vimala, Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) commissioner Radhakrishnan B and Nagpur Improvement Trust chairman Manoj Suryavanshi, who also heads the Nagpur Metro Region Development Authority (NMRDA). The meeting was attended by officers of all four departments as per the HC’s March 28 orders.
The affidavit was submitted in PILs by Ajay Tiwari through counsel M Anil Kumar contending that the respondents 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.
Agreeing to the fact about mushrooming unauthorized constructions in the city and its periphery, the authorities deliberated over statistical data, the reasons and preventive measures.
The NMC law officer informed that there are 615 such structures in the city’s 10 zones and notices under the MRTP Act were issued to 615, but only 15 were demolished.
Deputy municipal commissioner (enforcement) Ashok Patil found 1,544 illegal constructions and notices were issued to them under the same Act till March 31. “Of these about 30 have been demolished, 143 civil suit/petitions are pending, 188 appeals against notices of MRTP Act were pending with the state government, revised maps were filed in 38 cases, in 22 cases appeals are pending with competent authority (slum), about 18 cases are pending before the HC committee,” he said.
The NIT chairman informed that they found 4,675 such structures across its four divisions, of which 602 were removed. Suryavanshi said 3,019 unauthorized structures were found under its jurisdiction and notices were issued to them.
The authorities directed all NMC assistant commissioners from ten zones, NIT divisional officers from its four divisions, and NMRDA’s executive engineers to submit a data regarding unauthorised constructions till March 31, 2022, in A, B, C and D categories to the deputy commissioner (Enforcement), NIT general manager and NMRDA additional commissioner within two weeks.
HC takes suo motu cognizance of PIL
The HC on Wednesday directed its registry to register a suo motu PIL on the issue of unauthorised constructions in the city after the petitioner’s lawyer Kumar sought permission to withdraw the case.
While permitting him to withdraw the PIL, a division bench comprising justices Nitin Jamdar and Anil Pansare also decided to appoint an amicus curiae to plead the case stating that the issue raised in the PIL is of utmost importance.
According to the petitioner, he himself received notice from the NMC for his illegal construction and therefore, he does not want to continue the PIL, which would amount to conflict of interest.
The petitioner had contended that the respondents, including NMC, NIT and NMRDA had taken an indemnity bond from house or flats occupants that they would demolish the illegal structures pointed out to them by the authorities. However, no one complied with it and neither the respondents took any action against such unauthorized structures till date.