Civic body finds 20 more 'Somnath' type buildings

Sep 28, 2012, 08:31 IST | Vivek Sabnis

Following Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan's instructions after the recent Somnath building collapse, Pune Municipal Corporation finds more such constructions at Taljai and Dhankawadi belt and deputes 50 junior engineers to identify other 'overlooked' illegal structures in city and outskirts.

The 'Somnath' building, allegedly co-owned by former Congress corporator Sanjay Nande, collapsed three days ago at Taljai sending shockwaves across the state and city and the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) leapt into action after questions were raised about how such constructions were permitted. Following instructions from Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan, who also heads the Urban Development Department, the Building and Construction Department of the municipal corporation swung into action and found 20 more ‘overlooked’ illegal structures at Taljai and Dhankawadi area.

Not the only one: The site where Somnath building stood in Taljai before it collapsed. File Pic

MiD DAY conducted a survey on Taljai hills and attempted to gather information about illegal constructions from residents of the area. They however remained tight-lipped and did not seem keen to comment for fear of repercussions.  Senior Engineer Rajendra Khairnar, who himself issued notice to Nande and others at Taljai had prepared a detailed note for the chief minister. He said, “We have been resurveying the area with the help of junior engineers and updating our list.” Khairnar had, however, shown inability to reveal any more details. 

Breaking all the rules: An illegal under-construction building at Taljai hill, which is in the same area where Somnath building collapsed, killing 11 persons and injuring 11. Pic/Krunal Gosavi 

Vasudev Kurbet, building inspector, and complainant in Nande’s controversial building case at Taljai, was on rounds in the area. “Two more buildings of parking plus 2 and parking plus 3 have been identified. One belongs to Shelar and Kasabe as occupiers, while the other is owned by one Vikas Chavan, an occupier. Both buildings are near Nande’s office on Taljai hills. We have issued notices without checking their land records,” Kurbet said, adding that he has also spotted another small construction of one Chopde at Taljai.

C G Gaikwad, deputy engineer, Building and Construction, PMC, has listed 11 illegal structures at Baner and Pashan, a copy of which is with MiD DAY. He said that the media is doing well to bring the matter to the fore. “This will give us all a moral boost to demolish these structure without any problems,” Gaikwad said. 

Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) corporator S N Dhankawade said, “Illegal structures are not only at Taljai or in Dhankawadi alone, but they spread all over the city and suburban areas. PMC should not omit any such construction in their ‘revised’ list and we are with the municipal administration to extend our support.”

In an effort to ensure all illegal buildings and constructions are identified, Aaba Bagul, senior Congress corporator from Sahakarnagar, suggested in the PMC Standing Committee agenda (Subject No. 1088) that a special audit be conducted of illegal structures in the city and put before the committee and subsequently the general body meeting. “This would automatically give a clear cut idea of illegal constructions in the city,” Bagul said.

Sushama Netke, a Congress corporator from Guruwar Peth, said, “I had given the names and locations of two old wadas near a Mosque in my ward, which are in a dilapidated condition. We noticed that part of the structure is falling down. PMC should take immediate action so that the lives of residents are not put at risk unnecessarily.”  

PMC actions at illegal structures
884 buildings, measuring 6,38,070 square feet
Notices issued between June 7 and September 18, 2012

Notices issued by PMC
2,370 till September 18, 2012
Notices issued on July 31, 2012
Tilak Road: 144
Dhankawadi: 108
Bibwewadi: 150
Warje and Karvenagar: 275
Hadapsar: 116
Aundh, Bopodi, Baner, Shivajinagar and Pashan: 223 

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