The Bombay High Court has directed the collector of Thane district in Maharashtra, to conduct a survey of illegal constructions in Bhiwandi tehsil and initiate action of demolition of such structures. A division bench of chief justice Pradeep Nandrajog and justice NM Jamdar, last week, also directed the Thane collector to take action against the officers who failed to stop the construction of such unauthorised structures.
The order was passed on a public interest litigation filed by Bhiwandi resident Rahul Uttam Jogdand, who raised the issue of increasing number of illegal constructions coming up on agricultural land in the area. As per a report submitted by the secretary of Maharashtra State Legal Services Authority, there are around 20,000 illegal constructions in 60 villages of Bhiwandi tehsil, located around 33 kms from Mumbai.
The bench directed the Thane collector to set up a team, comprising officials from the tehsildar’s office, to conduct a survey and submit a report to him. “The collector would then proceed to pass orders as per law, requiring not only demolition of the unauthorised structures but also action against errant officers who turned a blind eye to the constructions,” the court said. The bench directed the collector to submit monthly reports to the Thane legal services authority’s secretary and posted the matter for compliance after six months.