Illegal structures, encroachments mushroom in city under NMC ‘protection’

Nagpur: At a time when the Nagpur City is dreaming of becoming a ‘Smart City,’ the encroachment menace has gripped the city in monstrous magnitude. Most of the roads, footpaths, public places would be found encroached for residential and commercial purpose.

The encroachments were identified and a slew of recommendations have been made to demolish them. But since the past two years, instead of removing the encroachments, numbering 515, the zonal Ward Officers, Deputy Engineers, Assistant Engineers and other babus were found ‘protecting’ the encroachers for their ‘vested interests.’ Gandhibagh Zone is in the forefront in this connection.

On one hand the small time vendors on footpaths are ousted and slapped notices of Rs 5000 fine per day, on the other hand, the babus conveniently turn a blind eye to the permanent/temporary encroachments done by bigwig traders. The former Mayor Pravin Datke, a few months back, had raised the issue of mushrooming encroachments and asked the NMC administration how many proposals were pending for getting rid of the menace. The administration had informed Datke that the list contained over 500 encroachments. Then why delay, Datke questioned but the babus avoided the reply.

It may be mentioned that the zonal offices had sent a list of 515 illegal/unauthorised structures and encroachments to the NMC administration. But the action was taken against 18-20 encroachers. The sun is not rising for babus to take action against 3 encroachments in Laxmi Nagar Zone, 119 in Dharampeth Zone, 32 in Hanuman Nagar Zone, 7 in Dhantoli Zone, 3 in Nehru Nagar Zone, 77 in Gandhibagh Zone , 120 in Satranjipura Zone, 17 in Lakadganj Zone, 5 in Asinagar Zone and 117 encrochments in Mangalwari Zone.

The encroachers are expanding their empire under the very nose of NMC babus and police who have been found slumbering. For want of decisive action on the part of concerned authorities, encroachments are mushrooming in the city. Footpaths, roads and any open place have been captured by the encroachers.