Thane shuts down to protest drive against illegal buildings

Thane Illegal buildings
Thane (Maharashtra), April 18: Over a dozen vehicles, including six government buses, were damaged Thursday during a shutdown here to protest the ongoing drive against illegal constructions in the city and surroundings, officials said.

According to police, several vehicles were damaged in the Teen Haat Naka area of the city when the shutdown started early Thursday.

Police have made tight security arrangements all over the city and in adjacent areas to ward off any further untoward incidents.

While a majority of autorickshaws, taxis and private vehicles remained off the roads, suburban train services were plying as usual. Some public buses were also seen.

College students appearing for their final examinations were hit hard due to the shutdown, compelling several educational institutions to postpone the day's exam papers.

The shutdown, called by all political parties, barring the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS), is to protest the state government's drive against rampant illegal constructions.

Organisers, including members of the ruling Congress, Nationalist Congress Party, Shiv Sena and other local parties, have demanded that the people living in these buildings be rehabilitated before the illegal buildings are razed.

The drive was launched last week by the state government and civic authority following the April 4 collapse of an illegal building in Lucky Compound, Daighar near Kalyan, in which 74 people were killed. It was the worst building crash tragedy in the state.

Adopting a tough stance, Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan has said the drive to demolish 57 critically dangerous buildings is underway while 1,094 other buildings are on the dangerous list.

Rejecting demands to halt the demolition drive on humanitarian grounds, Chavan Wednesday pointed to the risk of a potential tragedy like the one in Lucky Compound in Daighar.


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