Corporators demand action against illegal slums

Following the violence late on Sunday evening when a mob allegedly set fire to an illegal slum in Mulund, corporators from BMC demanded that the civic body take immediate action against the proliferation of such unauthorised structures in the city. BJP MLA Sardar Tara Singh and MNS leader Shishir Sh inde were on Sunday night booked by the Navghar police after they allegedly led a mob that set fire to around 250 shanties in Neelam Nagar, Mulund. The police have arrested ten persons in the case and booked several others.

"Local corporators and activists had approached the BMC several times seeking action against these illegal settlements. However, each time the BMC either passed on the buck or gave the excuse of lack of manpower. It is due to the BMC's inaction that the violence took place on Sunday," said Manoj Kotak, BJP corporator from Mulund.

According to Kotak, encroachers had taken over the 12-acre plot around 10 days ago and were building makeshift huts and settlements there. "There have been complaints that women and girls from a nearby school are being harassed by these slumdwellers. A decision must be taken immediately regarding the status of these slums," said Dilip Patel, leader of BJP in the BMC.

Dyanraj Nikam, leader of opposition in the BMC, however, said demolition must not take place indiscriminately. "While this is a serious issue, action should be taken only after proper discussion. People living in slum areas should not suffer because of rampant demolition," he said.

Meanwhile, hours after the Navghar police registered a complaint of unlawful assembly, rioting and obstructing government servants in discharging their duties, six corporators from different parties got admitted to Rajawadi Hospital in Ghatkopar complaining of chest pain on Sunday.

"More arrests are likely in the case," said senior inspector Ganesh Gaikwad.

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