The construction of buildings belonging to various departments of the Government, including universities, should be allowed only if the plans are duly approved by the Local Planning Authority (LPA), the Coimbatore Consumer Cause has said in an appeal to District Collector and Chairman of the LPA.
“The law should be applicable to Government buildings, as much as it is applicable to the buildings of private parties,” secretary of the consumer welfare organisation K. Kathirmathiyon has said in a letter to District Collector.
The consumer activist referred to the case of a university on Marudhamalai Road, pointing out that it had not got plan approval for some new structures.
The construction had begun without alienating the land required for expanding the road width to 100 ft. This issue was also raised at a meeting of the District Road Safety Council, headed by the District Collector.
Referring to this case he had mentioned in the letter, Mr. Kathirmathiyon said on Saturday that when the law took strong objection to violations by private individuals, Government buildings could not be let off the hook.
“Any lenience shown to the Government buildings will be cited as a precedent by private builders or building owners when they are pulled up for violation of building rules or for not obtaining plan approval,” Mr. Kathirmathiyon pointed out.
“Why we insist on applying the rules stringently on Government building projects is that we have come to know of unapproved ones impeding development works meant to benefit the common public. The non-alienation of the land for the expansion of Marudhamalai Road is one such instance,” he said.
“We have also come to know that some local bodies have constructed buildings on reserved sites earmarked for parks. When buildings constructed on such sites by private people are demolished, why are these allowed,” he asked.
Mr. Kathirmathiyon said there were no charges of non-allocation of parking space or other forms of violations in Government buildings.
The only possibility was that of projects for the common public, such as roads, getting affected by non-allocation of the required space.
The other violations did not happen because the Public Works Department (PWD) constructed the buildings without room for such violations.
At the same time, the PWD's focus would be only on the construction.
Therefore, the departments or institutions for whom the buildings were being constructed should ensure that their expansion work did not hit the projects for the public, he said.
Mr. Kathirmathiyon also wanted the authorities concerned to apply only the LPA rules and not those of the PWD. A few years ago, the plan of a cinema near the railway junction was approved as per the PWD rules.
The LPA rules, that should have been applied, later found that the parking space allocated was only 50 per cent of the required extent.