BMC officials said the illegal extensions were carried out largely at Janta Colony, which abuts Worli Koliwada, along the sea. “During our regular inspections, we found several structures had illegally extended into the sea. Earlier this week, we issued notices to the violators to remove them or face action,” Sharad Ughade, assistant municipal commissioner, G-South ward, said. “We will demolish the extensions and in case of repeat offence, we will prosecute the owner or tenant under the Maharashtra Region and Town Planning Act.”
State environment minister Aaditya Thackeray is the MLA from Worli.
Officials said the illegal extensions were carried out beyond the sea protection wall near Golfa Devi Temple, which could be risky especially in case of a cyclone. “In the last one year, 15-20 new illegal structures have come up on reclaimed land here. These huts have power connection and are rented out for huge sums,” said a local.
Illegal construction by reclaiming the sea must be immediately halted. It will also put the lives of the residents in danger in case there is a high tide or a cyclone. The BMC must take stern action against those who have carried out the unauthorised construction. However, the corporation must ensure that residents with relevant permissions and documents are not harassed unnecessarily.TimesView
But the residents, who received the notices, claimed their huts were legal. “We have not carried out any illegal constructions. Our homes were built in the 1990s and we have been getting electricity bills. The state has declared our homes as protected structures as the area is a part of the Worli Koliwada touching the sea next to the Navy compound,” Kishore Velye, a resident of Worli Koliwada, said. “On Friday, we visited the BMC and submitted all our documents. We are also part of a proposed SRA society.”Velye added: “The huts have not crossed the protection wall, in fact, it was built through the slum pocket. We are against any illegal constructions and the BMC must take action against them, if any, but the demolition action is inhuman.”
Ughade said that he has asked civic staffers to verify the date when the structures were constructed.