Prafulla Mhatre, who is known to fight against illegal housing and for the rights of common people in Navi Mumbai, is now himself stuck in an illegal construction row. City and Industrial Development Corporation (CIDCO) have discovered that his own residence is illegal. Following that, CIDCO issued a show-cause notice to him on April 17 and asked for a reply in the matter in 15 days.
Mhatre, a deputy city chief, belongs to Shiv Sena and is also a well-known mazdoor leader from Navi Mumbai. He, along with eight supporters, was booked by Kalamaboli police for demanding Rs 10 lakh and a 2 BHK flat from Shaukat Shaikh, a builder, to settle a dispute. The incident was covered by MiD DAY on November 11, 2011 (‘Cops book 8 sainiks for extorting builder’).
Last year, Vashi police also booked Mhatre in a molestation case. His supporter Trishal Nagpure was arrested but no action has been taken against Mhatre till date. According to the show-cause notice (copy with MiD DAY) Mhatre is a resident of SS 2/77, Sector 2, Vashi.
The Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) had given permissions to construct only ground plus first floor at the site. However, Mhatre illegally constructed two more floors. The matter came to light when city-based Paresh Nikhalje obtained information through the RTI against Mhatre’s illegal construction. Replying to Nikhalje, CIDCO revealed that a show-cause notice has been served to Mhatre.
“I am surprised that Mhatre who presents himself as a whistleblower in Navi Mumbai is involved in illegal construction,” said Nikhalje. “His own residence is illegal. If CIDCO fails to take action against him, I will file a suit against Mhatre and CIDCO.” Anil Patil, the chief Controller of Unauthorised Construction (CUC) of CIDCO said, “I am not aware about any notice to Mhatre.”
The other side
“95 per cent constructions in Sector 1, Vashi, are illegal. I obtained information through RTI. My residence is also illegal. CIDCO officials have cancelled my show-cause notice after I threatened them that I would organise a morcha against CIDCO,” said Mhatre.