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What steps should one take to avoid this?


Nearly a month after nine people died in a fire in a residential structure illegally converted into a chemist's shop at Juhu Galli in Andheri, the BMC is still to take action against 129 such structures in Aram Nagar, Versova. This despite a Bombay high court order to take action against such illegal structures.

TOI firsted reported about the illegal structures in its edition dated June 14.

An NGO, Disha, which had surveyed the area, had gone to court over the issue. It claimed that there were 129 residential structures converted into commercial.

Mehmood Shaikh of the NGO said, "After the nine deaths in a small illegal shop in Juhu galli, is BMC waiting for a similar incident to happen in Versova where hundreds of lives are at high risk? In case of any eventuality, BMC's K-West ward and the fire brigade should be held responsible."

Shiv Sena MP Gajanan Kirtikar has written to the BMC, demanding razing of the illegal construction and extensions in Aaram Nagar. Citing a Bombay high court order of December 21, 2015, Kirtikar said that the court had directed BMC to raze illegal structures in Mhada colony, but added that the BMC had failed to implement it.

His letter mentions: "There are illegal bars, restaurants, pubs and other immoral businesses being conducted in the area... There are illegal film studios running there as well which cause inconvenience to citizens."

Assistant municipal commissioner Parag Masurkar told TOI that there 354 such structues in Aram Nagar, of which 280 have been issued notices. "Demolition is on. Every month we demolish a few structures in the area," he said.


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