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Mumbai: Notice to 33 illegal structures on Worli-Koliwada seashore

Hindustan Times logo Hindustan Times 30-07-2021 Mehul R Thakkar, Mumbai
a train on the tracks in a city: A view of Worli-Koliwada. (HT PHOTO) © Provided by Hindustan Times A view of Worli-Koliwada. (HT PHOTO)

In a major drive against illegal structures, allegedly constructed by reclaiming sea, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has issued notices to 33 owners in Worli-Koliwada. The civic body has cited the change in monsoon patterns in the city for a couple of years and said that these structures located on the seashore are a safety hazard to residents.

The civic body conducted site visits following complaints of illegal construction and to ensure that human lives are saved timely by stopping illegal construction on the seashore.

A BMC official said, “We have issued notices to 33 structure occupants and more 10 to 15 notices will be issued in a day or two. Our main contention is that several illegal structures are built beyond the retaining wall in the Worli-Koliwada area by reclaiming the sea. During heavy rainfall, the sea has remained choppy, and water has entered into these houses, hence there is a threat to human lives.”

The BMC official added, “We have for now issued notices to understand which structures are illegal and which have protection due to it being legal. Even if a structure is legal but is vulnerable to the sea, we may have to vacate such houses. A decision regarding these structures will be taken at the state government level, considering such vulnerable locations are present even in landslide-prone zones in the city.”

However, the residents have said that the BMC has no business in sending notices to legal structures.

Kishore Velye, a resident who has got notice said, “We have been residing in Worli Koliwada since 1985 and we have all the documents to prove it. How are we illegal in this case? Also, the retaining wall to which the BMC is referring was built around 2004. So, why did they not build in such a way that all houses are covered by it? If they tell us to relocate, we cannot simply go somewhere considering our business and work is here.”

Meanwhile, BMC officials said they are not going to demolish any house yet. Proper scrutiny will be done, and demolition will be carried out only on the basis of illegality and threat to human life, civic officials said. In the past one month, over 30 citizens have been killed in several monsoon related incidents including landslides.

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