No special court for illegal structures in Mumbai yet

After a first-of-its-kind court was set up in Thane last week to deal with the menace of illegal and unauthorised constructions, three other civic bodies will soon implement the same. The municipal corporations at Mira-Bhayandar, Kalyan-Dombivli, and Pune will soon set up such courts in their areas.

A recently issued state government order paved way for setting up of a special court for the areas under the Thane Municipal Corporation (TMC). It took the state three and a half years to approve the proposal after it was submitted in February 2009. Thane has the maximum number of illegal structures after the city of Mumbai.

However, the authorities at Mumbai have no such plans for special courts. But, they had submitted a proposal for special police stations. In order to deal with encroachment, the BMC had submitted a proposal to set up special police stations. The officials at these police stations would deal with the encroachers and accompany BMC officials when they evacuated illegal structures and encroachments.

The civic body had submitted a proposal to the state to set up three such police stations. But the proposal is still being mulled over, after the state government said that they would recruit the required 1,100-odd policemen but the cost would have to borne by the BMC.

Municipal commissioner Sitaram Kunte said he was not averse to the idea of special courts, as they required less manpower compared to the special police stations. But no formal proposal has been submitted to the Mantralaya yet.

The state government in 2009 had decided to set up special courts to deal with the rapid growth of unlawful structures in the city.

Only the TMC submitted a proposal, which took more than three years to get approvals from various departments like law and judiciary, urban development, and the state finance department.

The Thane special court, which will be headed by an additional district and sessions judge, has received an approval for 13 posts.

Now, the state urban development department is working on proposals to set up special courts for municipal bodies at Mira Bhayandar, Kalyan-Dombivli and Pune.  

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