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Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Thane Civic Body Plans Stringent Measures Against Illegal Construction

The Thane Municipal Corporation has decided to take strong action against those involved in illegal constructions within the city. Commissioner Abhijit Bangar announced the invocation of the Maharashtra Prevention of Dangerous Activities (MPDA) Act, targeting individuals engaged in unlawful building activities. Landlords will also face legal consequences if any demolished structure is reconstructed.

This announcement follows a sustained wave of complaints by leaders, prompting Chief Minister Eknath Shinde to emphasize zero tolerance for illegal constructions during the recent winter session. Opposition leaders, particularly from Kalwa, Mumbra, and Diva, highlighted these areas as hubs for unauthorized constructions.

In response to the concerns raised, a month-long drive against illegal buildings is scheduled to commence on January 10. The civic body aims to address the issue comprehensively, with a specific focus on areas identified as hotspots for illegal constructions.

Commissioner Bangar emphasized the need for a rigorous approach, stating, “We will undertake a massive demolition drive starting January 10 to February 10.” Landowners will face legal action if construction continues on unauthorized plinths after civic intervention. Additionally, action will be taken against builders involved in construction on government-owned land, with the entire demolition cost to be recovered from the responsible parties through legal proceedings.

The MPDA Act will be invoked if necessary, signaling a stern stance against illegal activities. The drive will follow a detailed protocol, ensuring that the entire structure is flattened, including staircases in high-rises. To minimize inconvenience to citizens, officials are urged to conduct the demolition drives carefully.

The operation will involve a coordinated effort with civic and police teams, and plans include the deployment of 100 jawans from the Maharashtra Security Force. The administration is also prepared to hire additional staff through contractors if required.

While the initiative has garnered praise from activists and politicians, there is a collective hope that the sustained effort will effectively dismantle the alleged nexus between errant builders, land mafia, and certain officials, contributing to a crackdown on illegal constructions. BJP MLA Sanjay Kelkar emphasized the need for this drive to eliminate corrupt practices that enable unauthorized constructions to thrive.

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