NMMC tells 6 of 21 buildings caught violating construction norms to demolish their illegal constructions, or be prepared for the civic body to raze them
After dilly-dallying for four months in taking action against the 21 high-rises on Palm Beach Road for breaching construction norms, Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) has finally decided on tearing down illegal constructions in six buildings in the coming days.
Uncertain future: A building by President Construction in Sanpada is one of the buildings that according to the NMMC violated construction norms and faces the threat of being razed
These buildings came under scrutiny following allegations of construction irregularities. After the issue was raised in the legislative assembly in August this year, NMMC sent notices to these buildings but they reportedly failed in responding, prompting the corporation to decide on razing their illegal parts.
Sanjay Banait, assistant director of Town Planning department, NMMC, said, "We had sent notices to 21 buildings on Palm Beach Road in Navi Mumbai, asking them why illegal constructions in these buildings should not be demolished. Only 15 buildings responded to our notices. So we are bound to take action against the illegal construction in the six remaining buildings. We have forwarded a list of the buildings and the respective irregularities to the anti-encroachment department of NMMC, for the demolition."
In turn, the anti-encroachment department has sent final notices to the buildings, stating that if they fail to remove the illegal constructions on their own, NMMC will demolish them, and in addition, impose heavy penalties on the offenders.
Aziz Shaikh, deputy municipal commissioner, NMMC said, "We have received the list of the six buildings from town planning department and we have sent them final notices, asking them to remove within 24 hours all constructions found to be illegal in the survey by the corporation." He added, "We have sent them many notices and given them enough time to respond. But they have ignored our notices. We are left with no option but to demolish illegal constructions, and are likely to start the drive in the next two-three days."
When we tried to contact the occupants of these buildings, almost all refused to talk. "We have been told by the developer of the building not to talk to media, as he is attempting to fix the problem," said a tenant on condition on anonymity.
MiD DAY had earlier reported about illegal constructions in the satellite city exposed through the RTI Act ('Over 500 illegal buildings in Navi Mumbai', August 7).
Another chance As for the 15 buildings that have responded to the notices, they are being given a chance to present their side. Also, irregularities in 2 of 21 buildings are going to be regularised completely, while scrutiny of other buildings is underway.
"As the 15 buildings have sent us letters responding to the notices sent in August, we have given them a chance to present their side on the irregularities in the construction of the buildings. However, after scrutiny irregularities in 2 buildings will be regularised completely with a penalty of Rs 500 per sq m. Other buildings are still under scrutiny: we are checking whether irregularities in these buildings can be regularised under the Maharashtra Regional and Town Planning (MRTP) Act," said Banait.