People can't keep dying because of illegal construction: Bombay HC

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Mumbai, Jun 29 (PTI) The Bombay High Court on Tuesday said people can not just 'keep dying' because of the failure of the Maharashtra government and municipal authorities to check the menace of illegal construction.

A bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice G S Kulkarni was hearing a Public Interest Litigation taken up by the court on its own following a building collapse last year in Bhiwandi. It was taken up for hearing anew after the collapse of a building in suburban Malad this month killed 12 people including eight children.

On Tuesday, the bench went through the preliminary report submitted by commissioner of inquiry Justice (retd) J P Deodhar, appointed by the HC at the last hearing for conducting a judicial probe.

As per the report, the Malad building was originally a single-storey structure but the owner added three floors illegally.

The inquiry commissioner also submitted recommendations to tackle the problem of illegal construction. The HC asked the government and Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to go through the report, and submit their response.

'(Inquiry) commissioner has answered all questions and given independent recommendations.... Which part of recommendations are acceptable, you have to tell the court,' the judges told BMC's lawyer, senior advocate Aspi Chinoy.

'Tell us what steps can be taken to end this menace of rampant illegal construction,' the court said, adding that it intended to make ward-level officers accountable.

'Everyone will have to be answerable to the law....Please ask your officers to deal with these matters seriously. We have enough of building collapses. There has to be strict vigil. People can't keep dying because of illegal construction,' it said, adjourning the hearing to July 2. PTI AYA KRK KRK

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