Citizens get time for view on illegal religious structures

Following requests, BMC has extended by almost three months, to April 22, the deadline for sending suggestions and objections to the 534-odd unauthorised religious structures obstructing road-widening and other development works.

"The municipal commissioner has issued a directive to extend the deadline, so that all citizen groups get enough time to express views on the list of unauthorised religious structures. Once suggestions and objections are received, BMC will send a report to the state-level committee that will decide further course of action," said Anand Waghralkar," deputy municipal commissioner of encroachment.

Following a state government resolution of 2011, BMC published a list of 742 unauthorised religious structures in December last year. Of these, 534 obstructing road-widening and other development projects as per the city development plan are to be demolished.

BMC has proposed to regularise the remaining 208 illegal structures.

"There are a lot of unauthorised religious structures on major roads/footpaths due to which development work is getting affected," said Waghralkar.

BMC has asked citizens to submit documents to prove a structure existed before 1964, the cut-off date for legal shrines.

A senior civic official said there was a dispute about the cut-off date with many groups claiming some structures might not have legal proof.

The policy decision on these matters will be taken at the state level.

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