15-day de­mo­li­tion drive be­gins in Pan­vel; PMC to form squads

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - HTNAVIMUMBAI - G Mo­hi­ud­din Jeddy ht­for­nav­i­mum­bai@hin­dus­tan­times.com

PAN­VEL: Pan­vel Mu­nic­i­pal Cor­po­ra­tion (PMC) has started a 15-day drive against il­le­gal con­struc­tions within its ju­ris­dic­tion on Tues­day.

The drive be­gan when PMC cleared the old mar­ket area and Dr Babasa­heb Ambed­kar Road, which have been en­croached upon by hawk­ers for years, of il­le­gal struc­tures. “Bar­ring Ambed­kar Jayanti and Gudi Padva, the ad­min­is­tra­tion has planned de­mo­li­tion drives on all days for 15 days at a stretch. We will not spare any en­croach­ment,” said PMC chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Mangesh Chi­tale.

“Apart from hawk­ers and shop­keep­ers, we will also tar­get il­le­gal build­ings, bal­conies and ex­ten­sions. We want to rid Pan­vel of this mess,” said Chi­tale.

On Wed­nes­day, de­mo­li­tion ac­tion was un­der­taken from Uran Naka to Ta­pal Naka and Panchratna Ho­tel. A fish mar­ket was re­moved apart from 24 sheds and four stalls. Two hand­carts were taken away. Some sheds that had come up at Ambed­kar Road on Thurs­day were re­moved by a spe­cial squad.

De­spite the ap­point­ment of a con­trac­tor for re­mov­ing en­croach­ments, not much ac­tion had been taken, hence PMC can­celled the con­tract. This had led to lit­tle con­trol on the en­croach­ers.

Since there was op­po­si­tion to the re­moval of the en­croach­ments, a meet­ing was held at Phadke Au­di­to­rium on Mon­day by the ad­min­is­tra­tion and a plan was pre­pared for the antien­croach­ment ac­tion.

The plan was im­ple­mented on Tues­day and the en­croach­ments were re­moved. The sheds

put up by shops on foot­paths and roads were hit hard in the de­mo­li­tion drive. The ven­dors were, how­ever, up­set with the PMC’s move as the civic coun­cil had taken such a harsh ac­tion af­ter years of turn­ing a blind eye to the en­croach­ments.

There were re­quests from sev­eral politi­cians to the au­thor­i­ties to pre­vent the de­mo­li­tion of the sheds. How­ever, the au­thor­i­ties con­tin­ued with the de­mo­li­tion drive.

“Af­ter the com­ple­tion of the 15 day-drive, we shall form two spe­cial anti-en­croach­ment squads. They will en­sure that there is no fur­ther en­croach­ment,” said Chi­tale.

He said, “We ap­peal to res­i­dents to co­op­er­ate with us and those who have en­croached should them­selves re­move the en­croach­ments.”

A file pic­ture of an il­le­gal build­ing be­ing pulled down dur­ing a de­mo­li­tion drive by Cidco.

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