Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) has always been reluctant in taking up action against the encroachments happening across the city. To earn some extra bucks, the shop owners are openly violating the anti encroachment laws at Vashi, the prime business hub of Navi Mumbai.
Riyaz Shaikh, a social worker said, “In big markets like Sector 9, 10, 15, 16 and Sector 17, the shopkeepers make use of the marginal space available in front of their shops. The cloth shop owners keep their mannequins to display their cloth. But the hoteliers are way ahead in breaking laws. Vaidehi and Sabri hotel of Sector 9 and Sajong of Sector 10 have occupied their marginal places with their tables. Hotel Navratna has used the space for its kitchen. There are few cases, where the space is given on rent for selling snacks.”
NMMC Vashi Ward Officer, Ashok Madhavi said, “During monsoon, we allow hoteliers to put up small temporary sheds in front of their hotels for the convenience of the customers. Just three months ago, with the help of Anti Encroachment Department, we had taken strict action against all such violators. We removed the sheds developed illegally and freed the encroached spaces. We also take regular action against all such violators. But, it is really impossible to carry out such drive on a daily basis; as such drive needs support from police and man power from the Anti Encroachment Department, which is not possible.”
The statement of the ward officer has only raised the concern of the authorities for keeping the city free from encroachment. The residents are now looking for more action from the anti-encroachment Municipal Commissioner Bhaskar Wankhede. Deputy municipal commissioner of Anti Encroachment Department Subhash Gaikar said, “Right now, all our ward officers are busy for census study. So, we are carrying out the anti-encroachment drive in a slow pace. However, after 10 days the drive will be organised on a larger scale to curb the problem.”
—Jsapal Singh Naol