The Mumbra building collapse, which claimed the lives of 74 people, last week has put the spotlight on illegal and unauthorised constructions in the city. According to the recent figures, the civic body has received 4,711 complaints of unauthorised constructions this year alone. And surprisingly, the authorities are yet to take action for more than 40 per cent of the complaints.
From January to March, this year, the BMC has received 4,711 complaints from all 24 wards in the city, from which 2,632 complaints have been addressed but 2,079 remain pending. The figures revealed that the maximum complaints were registered from the western suburb, particularly Andheri (East and West) where 1,086 complaints were filed. Meanwhile, 833 complaints were lodged in Kurla. Most of the complaints that have been registered are related to extensions of balconies, encroaching footpaths, encroaching commercial shops and increasing slums.
The numbers further revealed that the authorities were yet to take action on the 672 complaints that were lodged at K-ward (Andheri West). Similarly, in T-ward (Mulund) officials were yet to take action on the 37 complaints whereas in R-south ward (Goregaon), officials were yet to take action on 285 complaints. When MiD DAY approached the civic officials asking them about the failure to check illegal constructions, officials claimed it was a technical glitch.
Commenting on the issue, municipal commissioner Sitaram Kunte said, “Many ward offices have not updated their lists in the system. But that does not mean that the complaints have not been addressed. We try to take action but few of the structures in question are under litigation and have received a stay order from the court.”
Special officer to check illegal constructions
The BMC has now decided to depute a special officer for taking action against unauthorised constructions. He would be treated as a designated officer for the ward and would be held responsible for illegal constructions.