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NMMC files FIRs against 344 illegal structures in 3 months

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The Hindu     14.04.2017  

NMMC files FIRs against 344 illegal structures in 3 months

Officials said that if offenders do not respond to notices, then an FIR is filed and the structure can be demolished.File photo  

Action follows HC orders to initiate criminal proceedings in such cases

The Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) has registered FIRs against 344 illegal structures in Navi Mumbai following a Bombay High Court order to initiate criminal proceedings against builders and developers responsible for illegal constructions encroachments.

The NMMC had registered 95 cases from April 2016 to January 1, 2017, while 344 case were registered in just the last three months. Of these, 174 cases were registered in the last ten days with various police stations. Deputy Municipal Commissioner (encroachment), NMMC, Amberish Patnigere, said, “Cases were registered even in the previous year, but this time, there is a clear rise in the number because of the High Court orders. We will continue to register the FIRs when we do not get a response from the respective party after we serve a notice,” Mr. Patnigere said.

The FIRs were registered as per Sections 53 (power to require removal of unauthorised development) and 54 (power to stop unauthorised development) of the Maharashtra Regional Town Planning Act. “As per the law, when we get to know of an illegal construction or encroachment, we inspect the place and verify the illegality. Later, we serve those responsible a notice as per which within 32 days, the party has to present themselves. They have to pay the penalty and regularise the structure if that is possible, or demolish the structure. If there is no response, after 32 days, we can demolish the structure. Demolishing the structure is one part, while registering the FIR is a procedure for the criminal offence,” Mr. Patnigere said.

“After the FIR, we arrest the respective people, and the offence being bailable, they get bailed out. We file a charge sheet within 90 days, after which the trial starts,” Senior Police Inspector Rajendra Galande from the APMC Police Station said.

The highest number of cases are against structures in Vashi ward, with 104 cases registered with the Vashi and APMC police stations. This is followed by Nerul with 56 cases, Ghansoli with 44 and and Airoli with 45 cases. Thirty cases have been registered in Koparkhairne ward, 29 in Turbhe, and 36 in Belapur.

If convicted, offenders will face imprisonment from one month to three years, and a fine of Rs. 2,000 to Rs. 5,000. In case of a continuing offence, they may face an additional daily fine up to Rs. 200.