Even as owners claim court stay on action

Officials from the Coimbatore Local Planning Authority (LPA) and Coimbatore Corporation continued demolition of Vignesvar Cresta on Avanashi Road on Saturday, even as attempts were made to stop the action with a claim from the owners that the Madras High Court had ordered a stay on it.

As workers got into action on the second day, the building owner’s representative at the site claimed the owners had obtained a stay on the demolition.

When The Hindu asked LPA officials whether the demolition could continue in the face of such a claim by the owners, an official replied that the court direction related only to the demolition ordered by the Revenue Divisional Officer. But, there was also a demolition order from the District Collector, who is the Chairman of the LPA.

The RDO probe was ordered into the fire that broke out in the building on April 25, in which four women were killed.

He had issued demolition orders as the building owners had not given an explanation to the notices issued to them though they were given time, according to officials.

The District Collector and LPA Chairman also issued orders for demolition of the building on the basis of violation of rules of the Town and Country Planning Act. It had permission for basement, ground and first floor for industrial building.

But, it was used as a commercial building and had second and third floors too without permission (with a total built up area of 20,000 sq.ft).

The building also lacked safety provisions.

The LPA and Corporation officials started demolition of the second and third floors of the building on Friday.

A representative of the building owners told The Hindu on Saturday over phone that they obtained interim stay against demolition of the building on Friday from the Madras High Court and had appealed to the officials to stop the demolition.

By Saturday evening, demolition works were going on the second and third floors and these would continue on Sunday.

More In: Coimbatore