HC seeks regular reports on illegal shrines from civic bodies across Maharashtra

Mumbai: The Bombay High Court, hearing a public interest litigation on mushrooming of illegal temples and shrines in Maharashtra, today directed all municipal corporations to file status reports every month on the issue.

The state government informed the court that there is a government resolution (GR) which prescribes action against such shrines through "regularisation, relocation or removal".

The division bench, headed by Justice Abhay Oka, had earlier demanded a time-bound programme of demolition. Today, it directed all the municipal corporations to file status reports on 15th of every month, giving details of steps taken against illegal shrines.

The government had issued the GR following an order passed by the Supreme Court in 2009 directing all state governments to take action against illegal shrines.

Earlier, the court had been told that as of February 1, 2015, there were 6,336 unauthorised structures in the areas under seven municipal corporations including the Mumbai civic body. Of this, 207 were regularised, 179 demolished and three relocated.

The HC had, last month, asked the government to remove, within nine months, all the illegal religious structures constructed after September 29, 2009 (after the SC order).

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