(Maharashtra): 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
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
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.