After a lull, the Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation and the Pimpri-Chinchwad Newtownship Development Authority (PCNTDA) resumed their drive to raze illegal constructions last week.
And with this, PCNTDA reached a new milestone in flattening structures, so far razing close to 1,000 structures in six months. On the other hand, the PCMC count was only 160.
Last week, the PCMC resumed the drive by razing a five-storey building in Bhopkel. Although a huge crowd resisting the drive was present, PCMC went about its job with Vishrantwadi police ensuring heavy bandobast. On the first day of the renewed drive, the PCMC squad demolished 20 per cent of the building. The next day, the major part of the building was brought down. The drive began at 10.30 in the morning. Three JCB earthmovers and a highrise Poclain machine were used. The PCMC drive continued this week in Chikhli area.
The PCNTDA, on the other hand, demolished a three-storey building in Thergaon area last week. The PCNTDA had thrice targeted the building in the past, but avoided pulling it down owing to presence of a hospital.
The Hinjewadi police ensured tight bandobast during the demolition. The PCNTDA also demolished some structures in Indrayani Nagar area, leading residents to take out a morcha to the PCNTDA office.
PCNTDA chief executive officer Yogesh Mhase said they had started the drive six months back and demolished close to 1,000 illegal structures. “The structures we demolished primarily include those which came up on Pradhikaran-owned land,” he said. However, officials of the PCMC, which is trailing far behind PCNTDA in the demolition exercise, said their drive took place as and when police bandobast was available. PCMC officials also pointed out that protests from political parties and citizens had also slowed down the drive, besides festivities in between.
PCNTDA said the structures they demolished included hutments (around 350) - which was not the case with the PCMC. Mhase said PCNTDA has 500 more structures on its agenda, and they would be demolished in a few months.
The PCMC has, until Wednesday, initiated criminal proceedings against 617 citizens for raising illegal structures. Initially, after the drive began in June, only 102 complaints were filed. However, in the past one week alone, 500 criminal complaints have been filed. This came after Municipal Commissioner Dr Shrikar Pardeshi threatened action against negligent officials. The total illegal construction against which action has been taken