Mumbai

‘Will approach BMC to regularise police chowkies’

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The Mumbai Police recently told the Bombay High Court that they would soon make an application to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to regularise almost 200 unauthorised police chowkies in the city.

A Division Bench of Justices Ranjit More and M.S. Karnik was hearing a criminal public interest litigation (PIL) filed by Indur Chhugani pointing out unauthorised police chowkies and beat chowkies.

The PIL alleged that the municipal commissioner without assessing the object and spirit of development control rules had given a blank cheque to the police department to construct chowkies as per their whims without ascertaining whether it causes obstruction to the public at large as it relates to smooth movement of traffic and footpaths for pedestrians. The PIL said there were illegal traffic booths numbering over 300.

It also said most of the police chowkies are abandoned and anti-social activities are being operational from them. “Further, the police chowkies are used for the purpose of supplying water to hawkers apart from the police department itself being beneficiary of facilities such as free water, free electricity, and free cable connection.”

In an affidavit filed in October 2007, the police had accepted that there were 269 beat police chowkies which were constructed without permission of the BMC and that 158 illegal chowkies had been demolished. Then in January 2013, the police told the HC that 252 chowkies had been built without authorisation, of which 61 had been removed. For the remaining 191, the police said they had applied for regularisation. In March 2013, an application for regularisation of 100 police chowkies was submitted to the BMC.

Then in November 2019, the BMC’s counsel, S.S. Pakale, told the HC that the police department had only given a list of unauthorised police chowkies and had not made a proper application for regularisation of the said chowkies. In the absence of the application, no action for regularisation could be taken, he said.

The government pleader then informed the court that the police would make applications for regularisation of chowkies in a proper format within 10 weeks from that day.

On the basis of this, the HC Bench recently directed the corporation to consider those applications and to take a decision within six months, and disposed of the PIL.

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Printable version | Dec 6, 2019 9:00:11 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/will-approach-bmc-to-regularise-police-chowkies/article30153658.ece

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