The Free Press Journal has reported about an encroachment on the footpath carried out by Suprada Phatarpekar, Shiv Sena councillor, at Chembur during the ongoing construction of the councillor’s new office. The office was built in such a way that the poles supporting the roof of the office were dug into the adjoining footpath. Moreover, the ward officer and the encroachment officer of M west ward (Chembur, Mahul, Tilak Nagar) was unaware about the encroachment.
Following FPJ’s report, civic officials from the M west ward removed the encroachment. However, the office that is still under construction has now encroached upon some more space on the footpath.
The BMC has time and again made claims of keeping the city’s pavement encroachment-free, however, it seems to target only hawkers and commoners as the civic body has turned a blind eye to the ruling party corporator’s illegal activities.
Phaterpekar from ward no. 146 is the daughter of Sena Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA) Prakash Phatarpekar whose party office is also on the same plot.
Vandana Sable, Congress corporator from M west ward, said, “Why would anyone object to a councillor whose father is an MLA of the same area. The M west ward has always been careless about such activities in their area. I have just acquired a No Objection Certificate from the ward for building a gym on Garden near Vatsala Tai Nagar at Chembur. Carried out the construction of the gym without any permission from the BMC ward, the civic body would have been the first to stop the construction.”
It may be recalled that the Bombay High Court in August, citing provisions under the Maharashtra Municipal Corporations Act and the Bombay Municipal Corporations Act, had said, “No one would be allowed to erect a temporary pandal, unless there is a prior and proper written permission from the Municipal Commissioner or other competent authority. If anyone is found digging or damaging roads or putting hoardings around the pandals, the Municipal Commissioner and other competent authorities would be held responsible.”