Civic body razes nine structures even on a holiday

Civic body

Despite Tuesday being an official holiday, the Pune Municipal Corporation today demolished nine structures totalling 23,000 sq ft in Dhankawadi.

Corporators who opposed the civic action on Monday stayed away on Tuesday. Irked by the interference of corporators in the demolition drive on Monday, civic activists on Tuesday demanded video recording of corporators' resistance so that it can be used for their disqualification.

The civic action comes a week after a building collapse claimed 11 lives in Dhankawadi. Former corporator Sanjay Nande has been arrested for constructing the building without PMC permission.

"We didn't want to slow down the momentum. Even a break of one day would have sent a wrong message," said Sudhir Kadam, PMC executive engineer.

He said the PMC was taking action against under-construction illegal structures which are yet to be occupied. "Our priority is illegal buildings along the road. The drive would later extend to buildings in congested locations," Kadam said.

The PMC initiated action against nine structures in three areas. At Survey No. 7 of Dhankawadi Pathar, five structures were brought down in a day. A three-storey building owned by Vikas Chavan, two-storey building owned by Pasalkar and three ground floor structure owned by Pandurang Shinde, Santosh Salunkhe and Chand respectively were demolished.

At Survey No. 34, the PMC brought down the entire five-storey building that was damaged on Monday as it was in a precarious condition.

One four-storey building owned by Presszade and three-storey building owned by Gadiya were also demolished here.

At Survey No. 37, a five-storey building owned by Ganesh Pawar and developed by Krishna Gaikwad was pulled down. There was some opposition from locals but the cops ensured that there was no disruption.

Civic activists who had taken on the administration for failure to check illegal construction praised the PMC for the demolition drive. "We congratulate the civic staff involved in the demolition drive. If the municipal commissioner and additional city engineer say that they will not tolerate any illegal construction, then there would be a check on illegal work," said Maj Gen (retd) S C N Jatar of Nagrik Chetna Manch in a joint press note signed by four more civic activists.

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