Beat marshals to curb illegal constructions

Due to the burgeoning population and the space crunch in the island city, in the last 10 years, the neighbouring region of Navi Mumbai has witnessed a phenomenal growth in the construction sector.

However, of late, too many incidents of constructional irregularities have been cropping up at regular intervals. Hence, the Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) has come up with a new 'beat marshal' model to keep a tab on illegal constructions and prevent their mushrooming that has defamed the satellite city.

Civic vigil: The policing comes after construction breaches in 21 towers
on Palm
Beach Road in Vashi. Representation pic

To do so, the civic authority would be hiring beat marshals from private agencies. While the entire cost of this model is estimated at Rs 50 lakh, the civic body has pledged to pump in more money if required. Interestingly, the Navi Mumbai police too had taken a similar step to keep a check on the crime rate in the city.

Sources speak
According to sources, the move comes in the wake of serious violations in the construction of 21 towers on Palm Beach Road and the flak which the NMMC received from all quarters for its lackadaisical efforts in initiating action against these controversial towers.

J N Sinnarkar, deputy municipal commissioner, NMMC, said, "We have decided to set up 24 flying squads comprising about 150 beat marshals, who will be keeping a 24x7 watch on irregular activities in the city, especially those involving illegal constructions. In a total of three shifts, two beat marshals will be working per shift from all the 24 squads. We are going to outsource this work to a private agency that fulfils our requirement to set up the beat marshal squads. It will be the agency's responsibility to train these marshals.

Besides, it is supposed to provide them with bikes, uniforms and all the necessary equipment."

He added, "In case a beat marshal discovers any illegal activity during his patrolling, he is supposed to inform it to the ward officer, who in turn will present the matter before the deputy municipal commissioner. Beat marshals will not be allowed to take direct action against offenders. This is to make sure that the marshals don't misuse their designation. In addition, our ward officers will be keeping an eye on them. In case any of the beat marshals fail to perform his duty; the agency would be charged for his negligence."

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