As the date to demolish 99 illegal buildings constructed at Digha in the satellite city of Navi Mumbai inches closer, activists today demanded that these structures be regularised.
Officer-bearers of Maharashtra Society Welfare Association (MSWA), which works to bring transparency in real estate sector, met the affected owners, and assured them to raise the issue with the Chief Minister.
Acting on a PIL, the Bombay High Court has directed the Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) and the City and Industrial Development Corporation (CIDCO) to demolish these 99 structures, illegally constructed on lands belonging to them in Digha village.
These state-run agencies are likely to start razing the buildings after Diwali (which falls on November 11).
Spokesperson of MSWA Sunil Sharma said thousands of families are on the verge of being thrown out on the streets and their future is ruined.
He blamed rampant corruption for mushrooming of illegal buildings and demanded strict laws to prevent such structures from coming up in the future.
“These families are going to lose their life-long savings. Strict law should be put in the place so that in future no one dares to construct illegal buildings,” he said.
Advocating a humanitarian approach to the issue, MSWA Chairman Ramesh Prabhu said, “When slums could be regularised, why not these buildings, which were bought legally by paying stamp duties, registration fees and other levies to the Government.”
Alleging that builders have deceived the gullible flat buyers, Sharma added, “There are about 3,300 flats in these buildings, where around 20,000 people reside. If these constructions are illegal then why the administration gave electricity and water connections to them.”
“Similarly, how come banks and financial institutions sanctioned housing loans for them? The Government should answer all these questions.”
Two FIRs have been lodged against eight persons – six builders and two real estate agents – in connection with the construction of these illegal buildings.