By Accommodation Times News Service
The civic body has come up with new set of guidelines on filing complaints about the unauthorized structures that makes it mandatory for the complaints to provide proof.
The new circular states that in the wake of a Bombay High Court directive the BMC has come up with a formalized form which needs to be filled by anyone wanting to complain about illegal buildings.
Apart from giving details such as name, home and office address, Aadhar card number or photo ID proof and stating the reason for the complaint, the complainant has to give evidence and also provide documents that prove the authenticity of the complaint. If documents are not provided, the complaint will not be entertained, the circular states.
Civic officials said the idea is to keep out bogus complaints.
“There are several professional complainants who extort money from the other party. Evidence need not be in the form of maps or plans. Mere photographs of the work being carried out are also accepted,” a senior civic official said.
The official said he had seen cases of people living in Raigad district complaining about illegal extensions in a building in Byculla, without any evidence.
Activists, however, said the BMC cannot put the onus on the complainant. They said it was the civic body’s job to find evidence.
“If BMC says there is a problem of bogus complaints, they should find a solution to it. In fact, it is the BMC’s job to carry out an inspection in order to verify a complaint, without going into the complainant’s intention, and to take action,” said activist Aftab Siddiqui of the H-West Ward Federation.
The circular states that in case the designated officer in-charge of monitoring illegal constructions at the ward level fails to act on a complaint in 30 working days, the matter will be taken up by a zonal grievance redressal committee.
However, a complainant will have to fill out another form for this committee and give identity proof.