mid-day editorial: Demolish structures of civic miscommunication

By  mid-day correspondent | Mumbai | Posted  05-May-2017

The Christian community is up against the demolition of a cross on D'Monte Street, Bandra, which took place on April 29. They blame the BMC for demolishing the cross, saying it was not illegal since it was built on private land.

According to civic authorities, several other illegal structures are going to be removed, including several temples.

There is a lot of gray area around what comprises legal and illegal. The BMC needs to clear this with communities, so that there is a clear line about the directive they are following. People must be given enough time and an avenue where they can file their papers, if the structure is on the list to be demolished.

This means the people are given a chance and if they cannot prove the legality, then the structure will need to be demolished.

We also see walls of mistrust and miscommunication between communities and the civic authority. The ward officer needs to step in over here, acting as bridge. Let there be a dialogue. Instead of vague words like, there is a buzz or we have heard that a structure is to be demolished on so-and-so street, proper information must be given so that nobody is taken by surprise.

The people also have a duty to cooperate with authorities and acknowledge a fault when any religious structure is illegal and needs to be moved, so that the public can have better access to roads. Do not let unnecessary talk give this a communal colour or stoke tensions.

When removing a structure is called for or warranted, the people must fully co-operate. Look at things dispassionately and logically, so that the city benefits. In the end, rules, application of mind and law and order should prevail. Let demolitions, only if warranted, be carried out in the spirit that this is the best for people.

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