NMC razes down illegal religious structures on HC order

NAGPUR: The anti-encroachment department of the Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) on Friday razed down religious encroachments at several places in the city after the Nagpur bench of Mumbai High Court had come down heavily on the administration for delaying the action. The NMC has planned to continue the action in three zones every day.

Manohar Khorgade had filed a public interest litigation seeking complete ban on religious structures, hoardings, memorials and statues on public places and on roads. During the hearing on the PIL, the court had directed the authorities concerned to not allow installation of pandals during festivals. The court had ordered strict action against those installing such pandals at public places without any permission. The Supreme Court had also directed to remove all religious encroachments across the country by December 2016. However, no action was taken on the court order.

During the hearing on the PIL on Wednesday, the Nagpur bench of Mumbai High Court expressed its displeasure over the negligence and had ordered the NMC Commissioner and Chairman of Nagpur Improvement Trust (NIT) to present in the court with their replies on Thursday. The HC bench on Thursday directed the authorities to submit action plan within a week.

Acting on the HC directives, the NMC came into action and started razing down religious encroachments in the city. On Friday, several such structures were demolished at Laxmi Nagar Square, Shewalkar Garden, Gopal Nagar, Walmiki Nagar, Gokulpeth, Amravati Road, Kanchipura Square, East High Court Road, and Ramdaspeth.