The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) wants enough powers to physically evict tenants/ occupiers of privately-owned highly dilapidated structures, who are refusing to vacate the premises despite being declared as dangerous. The corporation has filed a petition in the high court in view of the difficulties faced by them in implementing the eviction notices issued under section 354 of the Mumbai Municipal Corporation Act.
The corporation has hired battery of counsels – SU Kamdar, EP Bharucha and Anil Sakhare – to put forth its case before the HC. The BMC has introduced new conditions for redevelopment of structures, which are privately owned.
A division bench of justices AV Mohta and Amjad Sayed, asked the corporation to modify a clause which deals with classifying a structure as dilapidated. Kamdar said that they would make the necessary changes. Also, a line will be added in another clause which will state that the corporation will not interfere in matters where title disputes are pending. Kamdar argued that they find it difficult to physically evict tenants as they do not have such powers. "When our offices try to implement the eviction notices, molestation cases are lodged against them," argued Kamdar.
Several owners and tenants of private buildings have intervened in the petition claiming that the corporation should provide alternate accommodation while evicting the buildings. However, the BMC counsels ruled out the possibility saying that the number was too huge for the corporation and government to provide alternate accommodation.