THANE: The illegal commercial structures that have come up across the Mumbra-Kalwa coastline have been spared the axe, following the intervention by the ruling Sena-BJP government on Monday. The TMC was all set to bring down the structures but their plan was shelved at the last minute.
The coastline along Retibunder has been illegally occupied by a string of commercial and industrial units. In order to demolish all the illegal structure that have mushroomed in the area, a team of demolition experts, workers, police personnel, heavy vehicles were brought to the spot and were about to carry out the demolition when the officials from the district collectorate received a call from guardian minister Eknath Shinde and ordered them to stop the drive. On Monday, district collector Ashwini Joshi was asked to call off the demolition as the illegal occupants plan to meet revenue minister Eknath Khadse (BJP) over the issue. Speaking to TOI Joshi said, "For administrative reasons the demolition drive was put on hold. The establishments that have come up along the coastline are in violation of the CRZ norms. If protestors continue then the administration will book the violators under the environment protection act."
Meanwhile, environmentalists have slammed the political fraternity for "protecting and encouraging" illegal structures. "Why should political leaders intervene in the administrative action against the encroachers?" questioned Sumaira Abdulali, a Mumbai-based Green activists.