The GHMC is determined to go ahead with demolitions against unauthorised buildings, especially the ongoing constructions in all 18 circles and certainly will not be cowed down by raucous protests and threats as was witnessed in the last couple of days.
“We have finalised a plan to identify 15-20 illegal constructions in each of the circles and these will be demolished. A decision was taken to send a message strongly that such activity would not be tolerated and we are not confining ourselves to any specific area,” asserted senior officials.
The Gachibowli demolitions were taken up on the orders of the Lokayukta but the next spree will be the municipal corporation’s own volition. “We have been demolishing unauthorised structures quite often in different parts of the city but the media attention got focused on recent indents because of the presence of the local MLA,” they pointed out.
The number of unauthorised constructions has come down to a large extent after the mortgage clause came into force and also insistence of occupancy certificates, officials insist. Yet, they acknowledge several instances where their own staffs in cahoots with local public representatives were resorting to such activities.
With the Water Board not issuing either drinking water or sewerage connections to buildings lacking occupancy certificates, more building owners are coming forward to take the OCs. More than 350 of the 1,600 pending water connections were cleared after inspections.
“We have instructed the staff to speedily inspect and issue the OCs without nitpicking about ‘minor deviations’ to recognise voluntary compliance,” explained senior officials. But, the plan not to give power connections without producing OCs is yet to fructify.
Minimum fire safety features are also being insisted upon in public buildings such as commercial complexes and educational institutions before issuing the OCs. There is, however, an issue where buildings have violated norms despite the mortgage clause. And, if the builder concerned is not selling any of the units but only resorting to leases there is no way of enforcing the guidelines.