Demolition of illegal shrines in Mumbai be stopped: MLAs

MLAs cutting across party lines demanded in Maharashtra Assembly that demolition of illegal religious structures in the city should be stopped.

Last Updated: Mar 16, 2011, 19:03 PM IST

Mumbai: MLAs cutting across party lines
on Wednesday demanded in Maharashtra Assembly that demolition of
illegal religious structures in the city should be stopped.

Congress MLA Baba Siddique broached the subject, saying
demolition of unauthorised places of worship would lead to
"law and order" problems.

"The Supreme Court`s directive says that such
constructions should not be allowed henceforth. The
Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation is wrongly citing the SC
judgement to carry out the demolition," he said.

"The judgement also asks for a state policy on such
constructions. It does not mention anything about existing
structures," Siddique said.

MNS group leader Bala Nandgaonkar said pulling down of
places of worship could lead to law and order problems.

Lashing out at functioning of Subodh Kumar, the municipal
commissioner, Nandgaonkar said he did not meet elected
representatives.

Shiv Sena legislator Ravindra Waikar, a former chairman
of the BMC standing committee, said Kumar had claimed
demolition had been started on the state government`s orders
following SC ruling.

Leader of the Opposition, BJP`s Eknath Khadse, said the
Supreme Court order of December 2010 did not say that existing
places of worship should be demolished. In the current drive,
unauthorised structures existing since 1964 were also being
demolished, he said.

Khadse urged Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan to
intervene and stop the demolitions.

Speaker Dilip Walse-Patil asked the government to seek a
clarification on the apex court`s judgement and make a
statement within two days.

Referring to the criticism of Subodh Kumar, the Speaker
said "no matter who the bureaucrat is, not meeting elected
representatives is a serious issue."

Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar said the government
would look into the issue. "A statement would be made in the
House soon," he said.

PTI