On Monday, politicians from Navi Mumbai brought the city to a standstill by calling for a bandh to protest against the alleged unauthorized demolition of gaothans by the Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC).
All shops and business establishments across the city have been shut for business today. Many who were not aware of the bandh, were taken by surprize when they left their houses to find less rickshaws and closed shops.
Citizens have also reported that rickshaw drivers are demanding more money to ferry passengers today.
“No one is in favour of illegal construction but the same yardstick cannot be used to ascertain legality of houses built by PAPs (Project Affected Persons). We had asked the commissioner for eight days’ grace before continuing the demolition, as the state is likely to release a list of 20,000 households in gaothans which are to be regularized,” Bharatiya Janata Party MLA Manda Mhatre had said.
Mhatre called for the strike after the NMMC chief Tukaram Mundhe’s ignored their request and decided to not allow a grace period before the demolition. The protesters, led by Mhatre, are expected to meet near Datta Mandir in Sanpada today.
NCP corporator Suraj Patil also said that the residents were the original occupants of the city who parted with their lands to allow for the city’s development. He added that by ignoring their demands, the NMMC is not doing right by them.
Mundhe, on his part, tried to make it clear that per the High Court order no action would be taken against homes constructed before 2013 as the matter is before the state government for regularisation. He further stated that the action is only being taken against houses that were constructed post 2013 and without commencement certificate.
Since his appointment as NMMC chief, Mundhe has been taking stern action against encroachments, illegal constructions, unlicensed businesses etc in the city, to the ire of many politicians and influential lobbies.
Meanwhile, the citizens of Navi Mumbai have been fairly vocal about their support for Mundhe’s stance of not allowing any illegal construction in the city. Since the bandh, many have even taken to social media to show solidarity and lend support to Mundhe.
— Kiran Patil (@KiranPatil16Aug) July 18, 2016
Total Navi Mumbai bandh today. Sad that we are protesting against an upright honest commissioner
— Aparna Ramachandra (@msaparna) July 18, 2016
@Tukaram_Indias Thank you sir for making Navi Mumbai better. We are with you, let there be any bandh or not. Keep doing the great work.
— Rohaan Agarwal (@RohaanAgarwal) July 18, 2016
— R Chandrashekhar (@rajushekhar) July 18, 2016
— Nishant Bhagat (@bhagat_nishant) July 18, 2016