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Bombay High Court orders State to act against illegal constructions at Digha village

The Bombay high court on Friday said that illegal constructions could not be regularised and that the government of Maharashtra and other planning authorities should adopt a “zero tolerance” policy towards illegal constructions.

A division bench of Justices A.S. Oka and A.K. Menon was hearing a petition filed by Mayura Maru and Rajeev Mishra, alleging unauthorised construction at Digha village in neighbouring Navi Mumbai.

In its judgment on Friday, the bench said that it was the state government’s and planning authority’s duty to ensure that illegal constructions were prevented. “The state government and planning authorities will have to show zero tolerance towards illegal constructions and it is their duty to take immediate steps for demolition of illegal developments,” the court said.

The bench held that section 52 (A) of the Maharashtra Regional and Town Planning  Act, pertaining to illegal constructions and their regularisation, allowed concerned authorities to accept and hear applications seeking regularisation. “However, it does not enable the planning authority or the state government to compound unauthorised structures which are constructed contrary to the provisions of the Development Plans, Regional Plans and the Development Control Regulations (DCR),” the court said in its judgment.

The court also said th-at all its previous ord-ers directing City and Industrial Developme-nt Corporation (CIDCO), Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) and Maharas-htra Industrial Develop-ment Corporation (MIDC) to demolish illegal constructions would continue to apply.

The court also directed these authorities to carry out surveys to identify illegal constructions in their respective jurisdictions.

The bench further sought a report by end of March 2019, on action taken against illegal constructions by the three authorities.

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