Taljai residents claim demolition drive biased

Oct 02, 2012, 07:33 IST | Sandip Kolhatkar

Owners of five illegal buildings who faced action in area allege that Pune Municipal Corporation sent notice to several others about two years ago

Residents in the area of Taljai, which came under the axe of the anti-encroachment cell of the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) yesterday morning, cried foul and alleged that the administration is categorically targeting those who do not have political links. Owners of several constructions on the Taljai plateau, whose buildings were demolished by the cell amidst heavy police bandobast, claim that the civic body’s action was biased and that similar action has not been taken against owners with political influence.

Razed: One of the buildings demolished by PMC’s anti-encroachment cell officials yesterday. Pic/Krunal Gosavi

‘No selective action’
Speaking on incarcerated former Congress corporator Sanjay Nande, resident and social worker of the area, Ashwini Thorat said, “The civic authority, instead of initiating action against the illegal constructions of Nande and other politically connected people, is targeting those who do not have approach to the political fraternity of the area.”

“Several illegal constructions have come up in the area and many of them are owned by politically influential persons. I request the authority to take action against them first.”

She further claimed that there are several four and five-storied buildings in the area, which are owned by influential individuals, and an inspection will reveal that substandard material has been used in these constructions.

Another resident of the area, Madhav Pasalkar who also received notice two days ago from the civic authority, said, “I received a notice on September 29 and now these people have come with JCB machines to demolish my building. However, the buildings of others who had received notices several days ago are still untouched.”

Residents of the area protested and warned the civic authority not to be biased as far as illegal constructions in the area were concerned and demanded that the authority first take action against Nande’s building.

Attempts to contact area MLA Bhimrao Tapkir, however were futile as he had switched off the mobile phone.

Rajendra Raut, executive engineer, PMC rubbished the allegations about biased action. He said, “Nobody will be spared and we are not being selective. Action has been taken as per section 478 of the BPMC Act, in which we can take legal action or demolish illegal structures after 24 hours of issuing notice. Notices are issued after a thorough inspection of each disputed or illegal construction.” 

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