HC directs PMC to decide on removing or relocating illegal structure

first_imgThe Bombay High Court recently directed the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) to take a decision on either removing an illegal religious structure constructed by the Ganapati Chowk Mitra Mandal or relocating it within two months of classifying the structure.The disputed land, which houses the structure, belonged to Popatlal Navlakha, and in 1954, the PMC acquired a portion of this land. The mandal had constructed an unauthorised temple on the property in 2001-02. Mr. Navlakha alleged that the PMC took no steps towards removing the construction even though a notice had been sent to the mandal, and sought to prevent the PMC from erecting pandals in the lane during Ganapati celebrations. There was also a plea to direct the police to ensure that the lane is a no-parking zone and there is no hindrance by hawkers. An order granting permission to construct a pandal was also challenged.The court accepted the PMC’s contention that the structure would be classified, and appropriate action would be taken. On illegal hawking, the court directed the PMC to implement the Street Vendors (Protection of Livelihood and Regulation of Street Vending) Act, 2014, which provides that street vendors above 14 be granted a certificate of vending and if any vendor operates without a certificate, those guilty will be penalised.Mr. Navlakha informed the court that the PMC had not demolished the structure for seven years despite orders, and no action was taken to prevent hawking in the area. He said the permission to erect pandals was granted without following the law laid down in an earlier PIL and an order of 2015 that had restrained the PMC from doing so.The Division Bench, comprising Justices A.S. Oka and A.S. Gadkari, directed the PMC to take action with respect to the religious structure, and to complete the process of categorising the structure within three months. The Bench noted, “If a decision is taken either to remove the illegal structure or to relocate the same it has to be completed within two months.”last_img