Plea says there are 175 private residences of many Bollywood actors and Nirav Modi.
Mumbai: The Bombay high court has directed the Raigad district collector and sub-divisional officer to file an explanation for not taking any demolition action against illegal constructions in the Alibaug coastal area despite the court’s order.
The court also noted that fugitive jeweller Nirav Modi and other rich people, while constructing their bungalows, had allegedly flouted environment and coastal regulatory zone (CRZ) norms. The court made it clear that if the explanation was not satisfactory, it would take serious note of the same and take action accordingly.
A division bench of Justice Abhay Oka and Justice Riyaz Chagala was hearing a petition filed by Raigad resident, Surendra Dhavale, president of Sambhuraje Yuvakranti of Akhil Bhartiya Seva Sangh, seeking court directions to authorities to demolish all unauthorised constructions “within the low and high tide areas” in a number of villages in Alibaug.
The petition stated that there were around 175 such private residences, including those of Bollywood actors and Nirav Modi in the CRZ areas of villages such as Varsoli, Sasvane, Kolgaon and Dokvade among others in Alibaug taluka of Raigad district. The court observed that Nirav Modi had been granted permission for construction only on a 390 square metre area but his bungalow occupied an area of over 1,000 square metre.
The court said, “However, the local sub-divisional officer of Alibaug turned a blind eye to such violations and has been sitting on cases of unauthorised constructions under the garb of having sent them to the collector's office with prayers from owners of such properties for regularisation.”
The bench noted that the collector and sub-divisional officer owed an explanation to the court for failing to implement the court’s previous orders and also failing to discharge their duties when it came to regulating unauthorised construction work in the CRZ areas.
“In Nirav Modi’s case, illegal construction over an area of 695 square metre has been protected by authorities. In some other cases too, the sub-divisional officer has failed to initiate action. Prima facie, large-scale illegal constructions exist in the area,” the bench said.