BMC officials seen demolishing illegal shops near Haji Ali Dargah. Pics/ Bipin Kokate
Following a Supreme Court order, the BMC and city collector demolished around 90 illegal structures on the approach road of Haji Ali Dargah yesterday. The action came after the SC upheld the Bombay HC order to demolish all the illegal structures on the site, including Kinara Masjid that was constructed on the same stretch.
On Thursday morning, around 200 BMC staff and officials were deployed along with three JCB machines, five dumpers and three gas cutters to carry out the demolition. According to officials from the collector’s office, a total 90 illegal structures were pulled up. The demolition drive will continue for some more days.
A senior official from the collector’s office, on condition of anonymity said, “We will soon chalk out a plan and decide on the future course of action.”
In February, the HC had ordered to demolish all the illegal structures in the area. The order came after a Mumbai-based NGO Sahayak filed a PIL in the court stating that Kinara mosque was illegal and violated the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) norms. The state had approached the Supreme Court to regularise the Kinara Masjid, where the HC order was upheld.
With the mosque likely to be razed too, the Haji Ali Dargah Trust and state government have again moved the SC. “We have filed a review petition in the SC to get clarity about what the order says regarding Kinara Masjid. The Kinara Masjid was constructed legally,” said Sohail Khandwani, trustee of Haji Ali Dargah.
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