BMC action plan against encroachments by February 28

Municipal commissioner Sitaram Kunte said Thursday BMC will prepare a concrete plan of action against encroachments by February 28, the deadline set by Bombay High Court. "Necessary arrangements will be made. We have sought 1,000 policemen from the state government to aid us in demolition of illegal structures," he said.

Encroachment was one of the major issues discussed at a general body meeting Thursday. Corporators demanded faster action to removal unauthorised structures.

Vinod Shelar of BJP said policemen be employed for encroachment removal. "Every time the administration is approached, it cites lack of manpower to not take action against encroachments. Five years ago, a demand was made to set up a police post in each ward to stop encroachments. However, nothing has been done yet. The administration is clearly not serious about the issue," he said. While BMC did start encroachment removal in October last year by implementing the bottleneck policy, corporators are demanding quicker movement.

Praveen Chheda of Congress recently wrote to the municipal commissioner that a large plot of civic land in Ghatkopar had nearly been usurped by illegal tenants.

"Even after the letter, only 30 per cent of structures have been demolished. People in the administration are hand in glove with encroachers," he said. Last month, violence broke out at Neelam Nagar in Mulund. "The violence in Mulund was a result of BMC inaction. There were several complaints about illegal slums becoming a nuisance in the area, but nothing was done. It is time concrete action is taken," leader of House Yashodhar Phanse said.

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