The NMMC has finally shot a letter to Hotel Four Points to vacate the public space they have encroached upon and warned them of cancelling their Occupancy Certificate if they do not abide by the NMMC order. We caught up with RTI activist Sandeep Thakur on this turn of events.
On NMTV exclusive weekend expose, we had brought to you how Four Points by Sheraton and Inorbit Mall have encroached on public space and despite both CIDCO and NMMC accepting that there has been massive encroachment by them, no action is being taken by either of the two government. We once again take you through a quick glance of the violations.
• FOURS POINTS BY SHERATON ENCROACHES ON PUBLIC SPACE
Four Points by Sheraton stands on a plot allotted to the influential builder group R K Raheja. The hotel does not have any right to create the entry and exit on this road or do the landscaping, yet they have encroached the public road and open space and are using it as if they own them.
• INORBIT MALL ENCROACHES ON PUBLIC SPACE
The neighboring Inorbit Mall on the other hand has created a notorious record of sorts in terms of encroachments. The entry to the mall, the entry to the parking lot of the mall and the exit of the parking lot to the mall are all illegal. They have all been constructed on open space and public roads.
A fortnight back, CIDCO officials visited the site and confirmed that there Four Points and Inorbit Mall have encroached on public space. They had sent a letter to the hotel and now comes the update from NMMC. The civic body too has shot a letter to Hotel Four Points to vacate the public space they have encroached upon and warned them of cancelling their Occupancy Certificate if they do not abide by the NMMC order. He said that though there is no time specified in the letter, he expects the Rahejas to vacate public space in reasonable time.
While letter are being shot to Four Point Hotel, there is absolutely no action against Inorbit Mall at Vashi that has created a record of blatant illegal entries. Sandeep Thakur questions why NMMC and CIDCO are not sealing the illegal entrances when both have agreed on record that public space has been encroached. He says that until now CIDCO and NMMC are maintaining a liberal attitude though both know that trespassing is a serious crime. The RTI activist hoped that CIDCO and NMMC would not wait for being forced to do what is right. While there is little hope of this happening anytime soon, yet Sandeep Thakur echoes what citizens expect – that is to seal the illegal accesses and develop the public space.
Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan has made one thing clear – he is not with builders who violate laws of the land. But his message seems to have still not reached the officials sitting in NMMC and CIDCO who continue to only shoot letters for a major encroachment done by the influential Raheja builders. Such officials force one believe that the conscience of officials is up for sale, as long as you have the bucks to buy it. With bureau inputs, Sana Warsia for NMTV News.