Everybody turns a blind eye whenever they see an illegal construction. In Mumbai, we see illegal constructions; illegal slum dwellers, illegal shops and common man can do nothing but just walk blindly
But what can one person do? If I see a poor family spread a sheet of cloth on an open space. What can I do? Should I drive them away? But then, where will they go? They obviously have no home therefore they are on the road. A cop may come with his rod and try to shoo them away but the squatters are back again, the very next day. This time, with a bigger group and they decide to share some of their smiles and earnings with the cop and melted cop decides to turn a blind eye too. Very soon, wall is built, then the roof and then more friend and more walls, and before you realize there is a group of families living in that open space, stealing electricity and water supply from the neighborhood.
And the common people like me will say “‘What can I do?”
In Mumbai you see many police chowkies mushrooming all over the city. When I saw them for the first time, I was quite impressed by their architecture, not realizing that they were built illegally without any permission for construction of such outpost. But how were they initially allowed to build such illegal chowkies? Don’t they have some kind of plan or paper work to do before they decide to build?
What can one really do when police themselves are corrupt and when confronted they will shameless say “People like you require permission, but for the police there are no such rules.”
Recently, Mumbai has seen the power of one that has brought embarrassment to the entire police force. Indur Chhugani, a resident of Khar, has extracted a High Court order that has sought action against the all the police outposts that have come up in various corners of Mumbai without any permission
Chhugani argued that not only were the chowkies illegal, but they had even managed to secure illegal water and electricity connections. He then sought information on the sponsors for the outposts, as many were built with the funds provided by builders and businessmen. He was surprised that the home department didn’t know about who had financed the construction of such beat chowkies. “Even the home department had washed its hands off the issue,” he states.
Justice Patel and Justice Amjad Sayed directed the chief secretary (home) to rectify the irregularities pointed out in the PIL and file a compliance report by January 9, 2008.
Public prosecutor Satish Borulkar has told HC the 269 chowkies that did not have permission from the BMC will either be regularized or demolished. Nameplates of chowky sponsors will be removed in the next 30 days.
It is time the citizens organize themselves and form watchdog committees in every police station area. Every body has right to information and if every citizen is alert and united, a power can be build to fight corruption. One person alone cannot do anything.
When a group of people successfully operate and nurture an illegal dream, a committee of caring citizens should shed their timid attitude towards disgusting conduct of the police, the bureaucrats and the judiciary…………….. and fight for a change.
The name "Bombay" was derived from 'Bom Bahia' (The Good Bay),
.... a name given by Portuguese sailor Francis Almeida, in 1508 ....“Bounce back Mumbai” .....as it is called by the locals, it is a city that has been through a lot in the recent past – floods, bomb blasts, riots – and come out stronger each time.
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