Bombay HC pulls up civic our bodies, says ‘there is no will’

The Bombay High Court, whereas elevating issues about unlawful buildings and constructing collapses inflicting lack of lives, stated on Wednesday that if municipal firms aren’t in place to take motion in opposition to unauthorised buildings, “the situation will become quite difficult” in cities.

A division bench of Chief Justice (CJ) Dipankar Datta and Justice Girish S Kulkarni sought ward-wise knowledge from eight municipal firms in Mumbai Metropolitan Region, together with BMC, pertaining to notices issued in opposition to unauthorised buildings, steps taken in opposition to them, variety of circumstances through which compensation was recovered and circumstances associated to unlawful buildings underneath litigation.

It additionally requested the state authorities to think about if separate tribunal may be shaped to expedite hearings on pending litigations associated to unlawful buildings.

The bench was listening to a suo motu public curiosity litigation it had initiated final September after the collapse of a constructing in Thane’s Bhiwandi, which claimed practically 40 lives.

Senior counsel Sharan Jagtiani, who was appointed by the HC as amicus curiae to help it with the case, stated that a number of firms, together with BMC, had not talked about the full variety of unauthorised buildings and steps taken in opposition to them of their replies.

“If corporations are not in a position of implementing the provisions of the statute, the situation is going to become quite difficult,” CJ Datta stated. The bench additionally noticed that the majority firms don’t appear proactive in taking motion in opposition to unlawful buildings.

When CJ Datta inquired with BMC’s counsel why knowledge about unlawful buildings was lacking in its affidavit, senior counsel Anil Sakhare stated that 40 per cent of the town’s land is occupied by slums and actual figures pertaining to buildings that had unauthorised flooring is probably not accessible.

Justice Kulkarni referred to a Madras High Court order, which had advised authorities that until the time a unlawful construction is demolished, the individual placing it up might pay additional tax. “So many measures can be taken. There is no will and what are they (corporations) waiting for? They do not know. We are heading for what God knows…,” he added.

“The pandemic has taught us many things. Does every person, including migrants, who come to work in Mumbai need to check if building/structure has permissions and is safe? Human life cannot be cheap,” Justice Kulkarni stated.

The bench the posted for additional listening to in March first week.

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