Over 1,400 illegal huts in Ganpat Patil Nagar razed

BMC demolished Thursday over 1,400 illegal shanties at Ganpat Patil Nagar in Dahisar (West).

To dissuade dwellers from rebuilding huts, the civic body will uneven the ground.

"We will take JCBs and dumpers to the slum Friday to ensure shanties do not come up again," said Santosh Kumar Dhonde, assistant municipal commissioner of R-North Ward.

The demolition drive, which saw strong opposition from Congress corporators and slum-dwellers, was taken up to remove unauthorised shanties within 50 metres of mangroves.

Ganpat Patil Nagar on New Link Road in Borivali is in no-development coastal regulation zone and has about 10,000 illegal huts where 40,000 people stay.

"Shanties to be demolished had been marked the previous day, but residents did not agree to the marking. They claimed many marked shanties existed before 1995 and were legal. The demolition began at noon after eligibility was confirmed," a senior civic official.Congress corporator Shivanand Shetty said, "The residents were not informed of the demolition and the markings were not correct. These people have been living here for years, they cannot be thrown away like this."

More than 200 police personnel, 150 labourers, seven JCBs and 10 dumpers were used for the demolition.Shiv Sena corporator Abhishek Ghosalkar said, "We have been demanding action against such illegal structures for years. BMC used satellite images to determine illegal shanties in this slum. Of the over 10,000 huts in the locality, only 200-300 are legal."

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