Saturday, November 9, 2013

BMC blind to high-profile illegality

Civic body fails to do a campa cola on sukhada-shubhada bldgs where netas stay
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) seems keen to initiate action against seven Campa Cola Compound buildings, but it seems to be dragging its feet over high-profile twin societies Shubhada and Shukhada in Worli (in pic), where also unauthorised alterations have been carried out.
Infighting in the BMC is responsible for the delay.

According to a senior civic official, the matter has been referred to the civic body’s legal department, following a dispute between the building proposal department and the designated officer from the G-south ward office.

The dispute started after the designated officer questioned the department if he has the authority to take action, based on the notices the department has issued to the societies over the violations.

In April this year, the civic body had issued notices to deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar, BJP leader Gopinath Munde, Punjab governor Shivraj Patil Chakurkar, Maharashtra state Congress president Manikrao Thakre and ministers Patangrao Kadam and Anil Deshmukh, among others under the Maharashtra Regional and Town Planning Act, following complaints from RTI activist Amit Maru.

These politicians have allegedly converted shops allotted to them into offices and even gymnasiums and carried out unauthorised alterations.

Civic officials said that since the societies did not remove the unauthorised alterations, the matter was forwarded to the designated officer of the G-south ward in September to initiate action.

As per a gazette notification issued on April 15, 2013, designated officers across the city have been empowered to initiate action against unauthorised constructions in their respective wards. The notification has made a ward’s assistant engineer (building and factory) as the designated officer.

“Because the notices have been issued by the building proposal department, action will be delayed. The designated officer will have to start the process from the beginning, such as seeking the required plans, inspecting sites to verify the violations and initiate action,” said a civic official.

“But if the designated officer overlooks any irregularity, even by mistake, he will be held responsible. We believe the assistant engineer of the building proposal department, who issued the notices to the societies, can be made the stand-in designated officer. He knows the issue well, so he will be in a better position to take action,” added the official.
Vishwas Waghmode @vishwas_01
Published Date:  Nov 09, 2013

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