Mumbai: The Bombay high court on Thursday took a stern view of the “inaction” against the illegal pandals set up during Ganesh Chaturthi and Navratri, and issued notices to commissioners of three civic bodies, asking them to explain why contempt action should not be initiated against them.
A division bench of Justices A S Oka and A K Menon issued show-cause notices to Ajoy Mehta–commissioner of Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM), N Ramaswamy–commissioner of Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC)–and P Velrasu–chief of Kalyan Dombivli Municipal Corporation (KDMC).
The civic body chiefs would have to file their affidavits in response to the notices by November 30.
The court, which was hearing a bunch of petitions on strict implementation of the Noise Pollution Rules and Regulations and illegal pandals during public speeches and festivals, was informed that despite its orders several pandals were illegally erected in several areas.
The court was informed that in Mumbai 42 pandals were found to be illegal, in Navi Mumbai the number was 62 and in Kalyan Dombivli area there were 36 illegal pandals.
“This is a clear breach of orders passed by us in the past. Unless we take some drastic steps we do not think the authorities would comply with our orders. Unless some municipal commissioner is sent to jail and put behind bars there would be no compliance,” Justice Oka said.
The civic bodies were resorting to all sorts of tactics to see to it that orders were not implemented, the court said.
The court noted that from the charts submitted by the three corporations it seemed that no officer had gone on site to check if there were any illegal pandals.
The court had, in its orders passed last year, directed municipal authorities to ensure that no pandal was erected without requisite permission and to ensure that pandals were not constructed in such a manner that they obstruct traffic.