The week’s Standing Committee meet saw MLA and Chairman of the meeting Sandeep Naik passing a rather significant order to the administration. He has asked Commissioner Vijay Nahata to completely stop issuing property tax chalans to illegal settlements and do not give water connections to any hutments post his orders. This is Standing Committee Chairman of NMMC and MLA Sandeep Naik not just holding the administration responsible for rise in encroachments but giving a diktat that can have far reaching implications on the local politicians counting on increasing slum hutments before municipal elections 2010 to secure their victory. The Chairman has said that if NMMC officials had not given water connection or property tax chalans to encroachments, the same could have been controlled. And in order to control them, the chairman passed the historic order banning the administration from issuing any property tax chalan or giving any water connections to illegal hutments and encroachments in Navi Mumbai. The subject was taken up by Shivram Patil during the weekly Standing Committee Meet. It was during this debate, that the Chairman passed this order. Speaking to the media later, MLA Sandeep Naik said that while Navi Mumbai was better off in comparison to neighboring city Mumbai, there still was a need to form a high power committee that would have representatives of all government bodies have a stake in Navi Mumbai. As far as the continuous rise in encroachment and illegal hutments are concerned, MLA Sandeep Naik said that constructing a compound wall in such areas was the only solution. The Chairman also made some significant and easy-to-follow suggestions to Commissioner Vijay Nahata. He said that there was a need to make ward officers accountable in every ward and those wards that registered less number of increase in encroachments should be rewarded or promoted and inefficient ward officers could even be demoted. If the NMMC administration practices and follows the diktat and suggestions of the Chairman in true spirit, it could definitely regulate the increasing encroachments in the city. But the “if” here is a big one as municipal elections are round the corner and this is peak time for multiplication of illegal hutments by local corporators to secure their seats in Municipal Elections 2010. And this includes the ruling NCP corporators of NMMC as well. With cameraperson Abhay Prasad, Sana Warsia for NMTV News.
December 9, 2015