The State government has been advised by the Bombay High Court to find out whether it can make it mandatory for Municipal Corporations and Municipal Councils in the state to use satellite imaging to keep a track on illegal constructions in their jurisdiction.
A division bench of Justice N H Patil and Justice V L Achliya gave the suggestion and asked the government to reply by Friday. The direction was given during the hearing of a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by a social activist Ravi Talreja alleging of rampant corruption prevalent in the Ulhasnagar municipal corporation.
The bench was of the view that the use of modern technology could help in curbing the illegal construction. It said "Are you (government) making use of modern technology to monitor this (illegal constructions)? Why don't you make satellite imaging compulsory and mandatory for every corporation?
Accordingly the court directed the Additional Public Prosecutor Aruna Kamat-Pai to discuss the issue and the suggestion put forth by the court with the secretary of Urban Development Department.
The PIL alleges that in 2010 then town planner A P Gurgule, of Ulhasnagar Corporation in collusion with civic officials, had granted either permission or regularised 110 unauthorised structures in contravention of the Development Control Regulations (DCR).
To which the prosecutor informed the court that inquiry has been initiated against Gurgule and action has been recommended against two junior engineers of Ulhasnagar civic body. The court then asked the prosecutor to inform whether any criminal prosecution was initiated against the officials.