They seek alternative accommodation for residents

Major political parties in Maharashtra observed a daylong bandh in Thane city on Thursday in protest against the State government’s move to demolish illegal structures, following the death of 75 people in the Mumbra building collapse two weeks ago.

Bitter opponents the Shiv Sena, the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and the Congress joined hands against the State government’s move saying that no demolition should be permitted unless alternative accommodation was provided for residents of those buildings.

The Shiv Sena is in power in the Thane Municipal Corporation (TMC), while the Congress and the NCP share power in the State. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) opposed the bandh.

The government has currently sought demolition of those illegal buildings which have become dangerous, but parties are opposing it allegedly due to vote-bank politics.

NCP MLA Jitendra Avhad and Sena MLA Eknath Shinde, once bitter enemies, have unitedly opposed the demolition. “Majority of Thane’s population live in illegal structures and slums. Government cannot displace such a large population without giving any alternative,” Mr. Avhad said.

Around 12 buses belonging to the TMC were damaged by the protesters on Thursday, in an effort to stop the services. Shops remained closed throughout the day and autos and taxis were off the road.

Rajan Raje of Dharmarajya Paksha, ridiculed the bandh saying people were terrorised into participating. “It is the Sena in power in the TMC and the Congress-NCP in power in the State for many years. The illegal structures came up with their support, hence they are solely responsible for these illegal buildings,” he said.

  • “Majority of Thane’s population live in illegal structures”

  • Protesters damage 12 buses of the corporation