THANE: The Thane Municipal Corporation (TMC) recently staged a massive demolition drive clearing 3,000 encroachments from various wards in Thane city, collectively equal to three Oval maidans.
The drive that lasted over eight months is believed to be the biggest of its kind in the entire of Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) in recent times freeing up 75 acres of land valued around Rs 800 crore according to the current ready reckoner value.
TMC commissioner Sanjeev Jaiswal has been spearheading demolition drives across the city since last November razing scores of structures, including extensions to shops and even commercial units — single and multi-storeyed buildings coming in the way of constructing roads marked in the development plan.
As many as 2,095 permanent structures were completely razed and the remaining 871 were partially demolished. An official estimate reveals around 75 acres or nearly 30 hectares land was freed up in the continuous drives held in the city. A cursory tally of the recently concluded drive shows that around Rs 8 crore of the tax payers’ money was spent on pulling down these structures.
Officials claim that majority of the structures were illegal and had to be razed to develop wide roads in the city. The volume of land freed was major along the Ghodbunder Road for developing service lanes along with Mumbra and Pokhran roads where the streets were proving to be inadequate to bear the traffic load. The TMC has also managed to provide alternate accommodation to those displaced by the demolition drives, said additional municipal commissioner Sunil Chavan.
Activists and alert residents welcomed the move but have now sought an explanation from the officials who were responsible for these illegal structures to come up and usurp valuable public spaces.
Activist Dayanand Nene who received information that barely 17 per cent of structures in the city were legal to his RTI query, said, “Stern action should be taken against officials found guilty of allowing illegal structures. It is criminal to spend a massive volume of public money on razing the encroachments,” he said.
Credits ET Realty