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HC pulls up BMC for failure to remove squatters from garden

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The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) today got an earful from the Bombay High Court for its inaction in removing squatters and illegal encroachments from a south Mumbai 
bmcMumbai: The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) today got an earful from the Bombay High Court for its inaction in removing squatters and illegal encroachments from a south Mumbai garden which houses statues of national leaders including Mahatma Gandhi.

A division bench of Justices S C Dharmadhikari and Revati Dere was hearing a PIL filed by the Nariman Point Citizens Association seeking action against illegal structures of political parties inside the Nehru Garden and other illegal shanties that have sprung up there.

The garden also houses statues of Jawaharlal Nehru and Subhash Chandra Bose.

“Why has the civic authority not taken any action against these squatters and shanties that have encroached the area? Don’t you (BMC) have any respect for the statues that stand there? How you (BMC) see to it that there are no such encroachments near Mantralaya and the Vidhan Sabha? Why cannot you take the same steps to protect such gardens?” Justice Dharmadhikari questioned.

Observing that such illegal encroachments cause a threat to security in the area, the bench said, “So many people take a walk in the garden. What if something untoward happens. Today the area is not safe.”

The court also noted that the area is cleaned during October 2 and other special days to remember the leaders but the rest of the year they are neglected.

The court has directed the civic body to remove all squatters and shanties from the area and ensure that they do not come back again. It has posted the matter for further hearing on January 22, 2014 and directed for an action taken report to be submitted.

PTI

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