Mumbai: The bulldozers are out with a purpose and this time they are headed towards Ulhasnagar in Mumbai where demolitions have begun on nearly 855 buildings - this despite Mumbai Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh's promise to regularise the buildings.
The first building to face the bulldozer will be the Neelkamal Apartments. 600 members of the Mumbai Police and the State Reserve Police have cordoned off the main streets of Ulhasnagar.
A notice had been given in April and the residents of Ulhasnagar were requested again and again to come forward and get the township regularised. Now nothing can be done, were they sleeping?" said Ulhasnagar Municipal Commissioner, Sadashiv Kamble.
On January 25, 2006, the Bombay High Court had stayed the demolitions for an 18 month period. The court had criticised the Maharashtra government's move to legalise the township after first directing the development of the same without a plan.
The Maharashtra government had then said that the township needed to be regularised keeping in mind the law and order situation to which the court had said that it was the government's duty to keep the law and order situation under control.
Interestingly Ulhasnagar goes for corporation elections on February 1, 2007 and thus is not getting any support from any political quarters this time around.
The residents say that they do not care about political faction or party and that all they want is for their homes to be safe.
According to a report the 855 buildings have been constructed in contravention of the Maharashtra Regional and Town Planning Act and the 1991 Development Control Regulations.