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No respite for Ulhasnagar residents


Arun Gopalakrishnan,Hindol Sengupta,CNN-IBN
Jun 15, 2007 at 07:59pm IST

Ulhasnagar/Mumbai: With the Municipal authorities began a court-ordered drive against unauthorised constructions on Thursday, the New Year cheer has vanished for hundreds of residents of Ulhasnagar, a township near Mumbai.

While the rest of Ulhasnagar woke up to a normal day, residents of the satellite town's Neelkamal Apartments were on the razor's edge.

The building is one of the 622 to be demolished by the Ulhasnagar Municipal Corporation. And it's nine families and 11 shopkeepers don't know what's in store for them.

“It's in the government's hands now whether they save us or choose not to – because we, the residents, are ready to pay the penalty,” said Ramesh Bhawnani a resident of Neelkamal Apartments.

Residents like Ramesh are helpless, but the administration is unwilling to budge.

“They have exceeded the development rules and these buildings cannot under any circumstances be regularised. That is why the government has taken this decision. They have instructed the commissioner, Ulhasnagar and as per the provisions of the Municipal Act we're taking this action,” said Ulhasnagar Municipal Commissioner Sadashiv Kamble.

While the residents of Ulhasnagar haven't been able to save themselves from the wrath of the bulldozer, the demolition has assumed a much larger proportion. With elections coming over the next month political parties are leaving no stones unturned.

Party workers are trying hard to rally the affected residents. But with the administration not willing to concede an inch, the political parties may be the final victims of the residents' wrath.

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