Exclusive: Complainant says NMMC took no action against illegal encroachment by Bangladeshis in Navi Mumbai despite hundreds of reminders

Illegal encroachments by Bangladeshis in Navi Mumbai(Source: Twitter)

An official complaint and hundreds of reminders to act on it did not move the Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation to take action against the illegal encroachments by Bangladeshi immigrants in Navi Mumbai’s Sanpada neighbourhood, the complainant who complained about the unlawful settlement of Bangladeshis alleged.

A Twitter user Krishna, concerned by the insidious settlement of Bangladeshi immigrants in Sanpada, filed an official complaint with Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation last year requesting them to clear the illegal encroachments. In his complaint, he shared pictures and visuals of slums and encroachments by Bangladeshis that cropped up at several locations in Sanpada.

At least at four locations—1. Kesar solitaire PLOT 88, 5, Sector 19, 2. Shiv Darshan apartment, Sant Gyaneshwar Road, Sector 16, 3. Jaipuriar school, 4. MSEDL Sonkhar substation—the Bangladeshi immigrants have reportedly made illegal encroachments.

According to the complainant, NNMC Abhijit Bangar took cognisance of the issue and roped in his team to address the concerns raised by him. Every time he sought the status of the complaint he had made concerning illegal encroachment, he was assured that action would be taken in the matter. However, months after filing a complaint with the Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation, the encroachments by Bangladeshi immigrants still exist.

Krishna has been following up with the Navi Mumbai Municipal Commissioner Mr Abhijit Bangar on his complaint to initiate action against the Bangladeshi encroachers but to no avail. He has, so far, written hundreds of emails, letters and Twitter posts, called up umpteen times to Mr Bangar’s office to bring to attention the lingering issue of illegal encroachment. However, on most occasions, he gets a perfunctory response stating that the matter has been escalated to the subordinate team for action. But, as he suggests, no action has been taken against the illegal encroachment so far.

No action taken by NNMC officials despite hundreds of reminders: Complainant

OpIndia saw the vast email trail between the Twitter user and the NNMC Commissioner and other stakeholders. Ever since the complaint was filed by the user, he has been periodically writing to the NNMC Commissioner, asking for updates on the action taken by his department. Even on Twitter, the complainant has been diligently following up on the matter, and the unusually long Twitter thread is testimony to his efforts.

More than 100 reminder emails have been written by the user, seeking developments in the case. But, all he gets in return is pacifying responses assuring him that his concern has been forwarded to the relevant authorities. Realising that no action is being taken in the case, Krishna also included the office of Maharashtra chief secretary and Union Urban Affairs Minister Hardeep Singh Puri in his email, but even then the NNMC officials displayed no alacrity to clear the illegal encroachments.

Complainant has written over 100 reminder emails to NNMC Commissioner Abhijit Bangar regarding the illegal encroachments

The complainant claims Mr Vijay, Personal Assistant to Mr Abhijit Bangar, is intimately aware of the issue. Krishna said on many occasions he was assured by Mr Vijay that he would take up the issue with Mr Bangar, but even then there was no action against the illegal Bangladeshi settlers.

Months after chasing Mr Bangar to get the illegal encroachments cleared, NNMC officials washed their hands off the matter when they informed Krishna that it was not their responsibility to vacate the aforementioned encroachments of Bangladeshis because they were on the CIDCO land. Mr Vijay had reportedly asked the Twitter user to approach CIDCO to get the illegal encroachments removed.

NNMC officials wash their offs the responsibility of clearing the illegal encroachments

When confronted with the facts that NNMC had earlier partnered with CIDCO to partially remove the encroachments, Mr Vijay, however, still asked the user to lodge his complaint with the CIDCO. The complainant then asked for a written advice and confirmation of from Mr Vijay. However, he is yet to receive any communication from the NNMC over the same.

After passing the matter to scam-tainted Mr Patinigere, Abhijit Bangar reportedly claims he never received a written complaint

For months, Krishna has been painstakingly following up with the Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation, periodically calling them, posting on Twitter and sending emails to urge them to take action against the illegal encroachments. However, all he gets in return is a fake assurance that his grievances will be addressed. He claims the Municipal Commissioner Mr Abhijit Bangar has been only forwarding his complaints to his subordinate deputy commissioner Mr Amrish Patinigere, without displaying any willingness to remove the encroachments.

It is pertinent to note that Mr Amrish Patinigere was earlier accused of misappropriation of civic funds. In 2010, several officials of Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC), including Mr Patinigere, were accused of helping H.B. Bhise & Co. in getting excess payment of Rs 1.38 crore. The firm was hired by NMMC for demolishing illegal constructions.

Recently, a journalist who stumbled upon the complainant’s protracted Twitter thread called up Mr Abhijit Bangar to confirm if the claims mentioned in the thread add up. However, despite hundreds of email correspondence, umpteen Twitter posts and numerous phone calls by the complainant, Mr Bangar brazenly told the journalist that he is yet to receive a written complaint on the matter.

OpIndia tried to get in touch with Mr Abhijit Bangar repeatedly to ask him about the allegations of dereliction of duty levelled against him and his department by the complainant. However, our several attempts to talk to him failed as his office consistently claimed that Mr Bangar was busy with his meetings. This report will be updated when we get a response from Abhijit Bangar or his office.

OpIndia Staff: Staff reporter at OpIndia