The Kalyan Dombivali Municipal Corporation (KDMC) recently filed a case against four land mafias for constructing illegal buildings in the KDMC jurisdiction without obtaining proper building permits. The case has been registered under the Maharashtra Regional and Town Planning (MRTP) Act at Vishnunagar police station in Dombivali. This alarming trend of illegal constructions has been on the rise in the Kumbharpada area of Dombivali, where land mafias like Prafulla Gore and Manoj Bhoir have been involved in such activities. This in-depth article will shed light on the issue of illegal building constructions, the involvement of land mafias, and the legal actions taken by the KDMC under the RERA Act to tackle this menace.
The Menace of Illegal Building Constructions and Land Mafias
Illegal building constructions have become a serious problem in many parts of Maharashtra, including the KDMC jurisdiction. Land mafias, like Prafulla Gore and Manoj Bhoir, have been operating with impunity, flouting the rules and regulations laid down by the KDMC and the MRTP Act. These land mafias often undertake construction activities without obtaining proper building permits, disregarding the safety and environmental regulations. They encroach upon public lands, green belts, and other restricted areas, putting up unauthorized structures for their personal gains.
Prafulla Gore, the Promoter of Illegal Building Constructions
Prafulla Gore, a notorious land mafia, has been involved in numerous illegal building constructions in Dombivali. He is the promoter of the illegal building Shiva-Savli, which is being constructed in the green belt of Kumbharpada. Earlier, Gore was involved in the illegal construction of a seven-storey building near the Dattanagar crematorium in Dombivali, which was razed by the then KDMC deputy commissioner Pallavi Bhagwat. Gore, along with his partners, has also built illegal buildings at Sakharam Complex in Kopar ward, and his name is included in the 65 buildings Maharera scam in Dombivali.
Manoj Bhoir, Another Notorious Land Mafia
Manoj Bhoir is another land mafia who has been on the radar of the Vish nunagar police station for his involvement in illegal building constructions. Bhoir has been accused of encroaching upon public lands and constructing unauthorized buildings in Dombivali. He has also been involved in manipulating the construction permits and approvals through fraudulent means, leading to the proliferation of illegal constructions in the KDMC jurisdiction.
Legal Actions Taken by KDMC under RERA Act
To tackle the growing menace of illegal building constructions and curb the activities of land mafias, the KDMC has taken legal actions under the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act (RERA Act), which was implemented in Maharashtra in 2017. The RERA Act aims to regulate the real estate sector, protect the interests of homebuyers, and ensure transparency and accountability in the construction and real estate industry.
Under the RERA Act, the KDMC has the authority to take strict legal actions against illegal building constructions and land mafias. The KDMC has filed cases against Prafulla Gore, Manoj Bhoir, and their associates, under the MRTP Act and the RERA Act, for unauthorized constructions and violation of building regulations. The KDMC has also demolished illegal buildings constructed by these land mafias and recovered fines and penalties from them.
Challenges Faced by KDMC in Tackling Illegal Building Constructions
Despite the legal actions taken by the KDMC, tackling illegal building constructions and dealing with land mafias has been a challenging task. These land mafias often use fraudulent means to manipulate construction permits and approvals, forge documents, and evade legal actions. They also exploit the loopholes in the system and take advantage of the delays in legal proceedings.
Another challenge faced by the KDMC is the lack of adequate resources, including manpower and infrastructure, to effectively monitor and regulate the construction activities in the KDMC jurisdiction. The vast geographical area, rapid urbanization, and the increasing demand for affordable housing have made it difficult for the KDMC to keep pace with the growing construction activities and effectively enforce the building regulations.
Steps Taken by KDMC to Strengthen RERA Implementation
Despite the challenges, the KDMC has taken several steps to strengthen the implementation of the RERA Act and tackle illegal building constructions. Some of the key steps taken by the KDMC include:
Strict Scrutiny of Construction Permits:
The KDMC has strengthened the scrutiny process for construction permits to ensure that all the necessary approvals and clearances are obtained before any construction activity begins. The KDMC has also implemented online systems for building permit approvals, which have helped in reducing human intervention and minimizing the chances of fraudulent practices.
Increased Surveillance and Monitoring:
The KDMC has increased its surveillance and monitoring of construction activities through regular inspections, site visits, and aerial surveys. The KDMC has also engaged private agencies for third-party inspections to ensure compliance with building regulations and quality standards.
Public Awareness Campaigns:
The KDMC has launched public awareness campaigns to educate the citizens about the importance of obtaining legal permits, following building regulations, and reporting any illegal constructions or encroachments. The KDMC has also encouraged citizens to file complaints and provide information about illegal constructions through a dedicated helpline and online portals.
Collaboration with Other Agencies:
The KDMC has collaborated with other government agencies, including the police, revenue department, and the state RERA authority, to share information, intelligence, and resources for effective enforcement of the RERA Act. The KDMC has also sought support from the local community and NGOs in identifying and reporting illegal constructions.
Impact of RERA Implementation in KDMC Jurisdiction
The implementation of the RERA Act in the KDMC jurisdiction has had a significant impact on the real estate and construction industry. Some of the key impacts are:
Reduction in Illegal Constructions:
The strict legal actions taken by the KDMC under the RERA Act have resulted in a significant reduction in illegal building constructions. The fear of penalties, fines, and legal repercussions has deterred land mafias and unscrupulous builders from engaging in unauthorized construction activities.
Improved Transparency and Accountability:
The implementation of the RERA Act has brought in greater transparency and accountability in the construction and real estate industry. The mandatory registration of projects, disclosure of project details, and escrow account requirements have ensured that homebuyers have access to reliable information and their investments are protected.
Enhanced Confidence of Homebuyers:
The implementation of the RERA Act has instilled confidence among homebuyers as it provides them with a legal framework to safeguard their interests. The strict regulations, dispute resolution mechanisms, and the availability of information through the RERA portal have empowered homebuyers and improved their trust in the real estate sector.
Professionalization of the Real Estate Sector:
The RERA Act has also led to the professionalization of the real estate sector in the KDMC jurisdiction. The requirement of mandatory registration for projects, adherence to construction timelines, and quality standards have raised the bar for builders and developers, leading to improved professionalism and accountability in the industry.
Illegal building constructions and land mafias pose a serious threat to the development and growth of cities like Thane in the KDMC jurisdiction. The implementation of the RERA Act has been a significant step by the KDMC to tackle this menace and ensure transparency, accountability, and compliance with building regulations in the real estate sector. Despite the challenges faced, the KDMC has taken several steps to strengthen the implementation of the RERA Act, including strict scrutiny of construction permits, increased surveillance and monitoring, public awareness campaigns, and collaboration with other agencies. The impact of RERA implementation has been positive, with a reduction in illegal constructions, improved transparency, enhanced confidence of homebuyers, and professionalization of the real estate sector.
In conclusion, the KDMC's efforts to tackle illegal building constructions and land mafias under the RERA Act have been commendable. The strict legal actions, improved transparency, and accountability have contributed to the overall development and growth of Thane, and have instilled confidence among homebuyers. However, sustained efforts, strong enforcement, and continuous vigilance are required to completely eradicate the menace of illegal building constructions and ensure sustainable and planned urban development in the KDMC jurisdiction.
Note: The information provided in this article about Maharashtra Real Estate Regulatory Authority (MahaRERA) is for informational purposes only. It is not intended as legal or professional advice and readers should consult qualified professionals for advice specific to their circumstances.
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