Il­le­gal shrines to be pulled down in a month and a half

NMMC AC­TION High court has asked civic body to sub­mit a re­port by Aug 15

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - NAVI MUMBAI - Tas­neem Kausar ht­for­nav­i­mum­bai@hin­dus­tan­times.com Tas­neem Kausar ht­for­nav­i­mum­bai@hin­dus­tan­times.com

Restau­rants and sweet marts op­er­at­ing with­out li­cences con­tinue to face ac­tion by the mu­nic­i­pal cor­po­ra­tion.

The Navi Mum­bai Mu­nic­i­pal Cor­po­ra­tion (NMMC) sealed eight shops at Airoli on Fri­day. So far, it has sealed 68 restau­rants and sweet marts in the city.

It is nec­es­sary for ho­tels, restau­rants, sweet marts, bak­eries, cater­ers to take NMMC per­mis­sion while con­duct­ing busi­ness in Navi Mum­bai. How­ever, sev­eral es­tab­lish­ments have not done so.

Mu­nic­i­pal com­mis­sioner Tukaram Mundhe has is­sued strict orders to take ac­tion against es­tab­lish­ments that are op­er­at­ing with­out such li­cences.

Un­der his guid­ance, civic li­cence depart­ment of­fi­cial Dat­ta­trey Na­gre and his staff have re­peat­edly ap­pealed to the es­tab­lish­ments to pro­cure the li­cences.

Ac­tion is now be­ing taken against those es­tab­lish­ments that are yet to com­ply with the in­struc­tions.

Ear­lier 60 such es­tab­lish­ments were sealed in CBD Be­la­pur, Sea­woods, Nerul, Vashi, Kopar Khairane area.

In the drive in Airoli, premises of Lit­tle China, Ma­ha­laxmi Sweets, Ho­tel Sahil, Shri Kr­ishna Ben­gali Sweets, Shri Sairam Mess, Food Carnival and Naznoor Cater­ers were sealed.

An NMMC of­fi­cial said, “Fol­low­ing strict ac­tion, sev­eral es­tab­lish­ments have started ap­proach­ing us for the li­cences. The ac­tion is send­ing out a strong mes­sage and we are con­fi­dent all will com­ply.”

Some es­tab­lish­ments have man­aged to get the seal opened and get a stay on NMMC ac­tion.

A sweet mart owner has man­aged to get in­terim re­lief from the court.

“There are sev­eral li­cences one needs to take and it hap­pens that you don’t have one par­tic­u­lar li­cence. We store per­ish­able items and seal­ing had led to huge losses and so we had to move court,” he said.

The NMMC is all set to take ac­tion against il­le­gal places of wor­ship that have come up in the city on MIDC and CIDCO land.

The mu­nic­i­pal cor­po­ra­tion had ear­lier acted only on land that be­longed to it. Since, NMMC does not have much land of its own, it had lit­tle record of the il­le­gal shrines in the city. The high court has asked it to sub­mit a re­port on it by Au­gust 15.

Mu­nic­i­pal com­mis­sioner Tukaram Mundhe has given clear orders to his of­fi­cials to take ac­tion aginst il­le­gal con­struc­tions. This has led to de­mo­li­tion drives be­ing in­ten­si­fied in the city. The il­le­gal places of wor­ship too are be­ing tar­geted in the drive. Mundhe had as col­lec­tor of So­la­pur un­der­taken sim­i­lar drive there.

An anti-en­croach­ment depart­ment of­fi­cial of NMMC said, “In the next month and a half we will go af­ter all such struc­tures.”

Fol­low­ing the high court order, the sur­vey con­ducted by NMMC has re­vealed a fig­ure of 24 il­le­gal shrines. Th­ese have come up af­ter 2009. The fig­ure prior to this pe­riod is 36.

The NMMC has till date re­ceived 550 plots from Cidco for var­i­ous pur­poses. Some of th­ese re­li­gious places of wor­ship have come up on th­ese plots.

The NMMC will not de­mol­ish il­le­gal shrines built be­fore 2009. It will shift them to an­other lo­ca­tion.

While NMMC of­fi­cials had ear­lier re­frained from tak­ing any ac­tion on plots not owned by NMMC, Mundhe has now given them a free hand.

The anti-en­croach­ment depart­ment has sought de­tails of such il­le­gal struc­tures from MIDC and Cidco.

Cidco has the largest num­ber of such struc­tures which stand NMMC work­ers de­mol­ish the five-storey build­ing at Nerul on Satur­day. Sev­enty po­lice per­son­nel were de­ployed. at 348. Cidco had ear­lier is­sued notices to 467 struc­tures and 119 of them sub­mit­ted doc­u­men­tary proof of their le­gal­ity.

In the MIDC belt, it is al­leged that some cor­po­ra­tors and politi­cians, to en­sure vote bank, have erected 175 il­le­gal places of wor­ship.

“We be­lieve there are a to­tal of around 700 il­le­gal places of wor­ship on NMMC, CIDCO and MIDC land,” said the of­fi­cial.

He added that Cidco has given 130 plots to con­struct le­gal places of wor­ship. How­ever, since charges have to be paid for it, some vested in­ter­ests usurped land and con­structed places of wor­ship there.”

He added, “We had started the drive some­time ago but had to stall it due to lack of po­lice ban­dobast. We are now all geared up for ac­tion along with Cidco and MIDC.”

BACHCHAN KU­MAR

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