Mumbai: Forest department sends notices for four more schools
After mid-day report on two schools built illegally atop Parsik tunnel, Forest Department decides to act against all such schools
mid-day's story on the threat facing Parsik Tunnel from two schools built illegally right on top of it (Can Parsik Tunnel survive all the illegal constructions around it, August 2), has forced the forest department to act against four more such schools.
They too have illegally built their buildings on forest department land in Kalwa. The forest department has issued notices to these schools asking them to submit documents of ownership. It has also asked the Thane Municipal Corporation for an explanation on how these schools were granted permissions and what arrangements will be made for the students in case they are issued eviction and demolition notices.
mid-day had reported that the forest department was using the hi-tech route to ascertain boundaries of the forest land (Forest Department turns to satellite images to save Parsik tunnel, August 7). The department will be able to demolish all illegal structures based on the technical report of the boundaries.
Eviction notices to be issued
Sources said the forest department, Thane division will issue eviction notices to six schools in Kalwa soon. Jitendra Ramgaokar, Deputy Conservator of forest, Thane division, said, "We had issued notices on October 2 to these schools for encroaching on forest land, and asked them to submit documents regarding ownership of property.
However, as all the schools failed to submit documents, they have been given one last chance to present their case and within a week eviction letters will be sent to these schools. This is a long process because we have to think about the students too. The schools must give them admission in other schools in case of demolition. It will take time for the process but we have already started it."
Powerful vote bank
The rocky Mumbra Hill is full of illegal slum colonies and public toilets with poor drainage system, but is a powerful vote bank. The top of Parsik tunnel has weakened due to the slums, encroachment and garbage dumped by dwellers there. The Central Railway has been working on the repairs of Parsik Tunnel for the past two years, and the latest tenders to fix it cost R4 crore. The ongoing repairs include a thick cement layer and building a water duct to divert the flow of water that might accumulate during the monsoon. CR has also called in mining experts for help in fixing the tunnel.
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