Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray wants the BMC to rid the city of all illegal constructions and has asked it to work without fear and without succumbing to any pressure.
Thackeray held a meeting with BMC officials on October 20 where he directed the administration to take up the issue on a war footing. “We will stand firmly by you. Do not succumb to any pressure. Illegal constructions in the city will not be tolerated,” said Thackeray.
In recent months, several senior Shiv Sena leaders, including Thackeray’s personal assistant Milind Narvekar, have been accused of carrying out illegal constructions. Narvekar even demolished his bungalow that was coming up on the Dapoli coast in Ratnagiri district after there were accusations of it being illegal.
State transport Minister Anil Parab was accused of constructing an illegal office on a Mhada layout open space in Bandra (East) but disowned it. Mhada later issued an apology to Parab.
BJP leader Kirit Somaiya, who has brought up the alleged illegal constructions by Sena leaders, said the chief minister’s statements were nothing but a stunt. “Before the Lokayukta the government accepted that Parab’s alleged office at Bandra (East) is illegal. Today, when the demolition was scheduled by Mhada as ordered by the Lokayukta, I was informed that some person has gone to the city civil court and obtained a stay against the demolition,” he said.
Somaiya said in case of Parab’s Dapoli resort in Ratnagiri district, the government has accepted before the Lokayukta that it is illegal but has done nothing to demolish it.
Thackeray pointed to the rampant illegal dumping of debris in the eastern and western suburbs and called for appointing squads to prevent it. While lauding the administration for its exemplary work during the Covid pandemic and for being trailblazers in creating the Mumbai model, Thackeray said the focus now should be on improving civic amenities in the city. “The objective is to make our city beautiful with high quality facilities and for this, roads, pavements, dividers, parks and gardens must be made proper and beautiful,” he said.
Clara Lewis, TNN, Mumbai