Structures to be inspected; corporation officials under the scanner

Spot verification of buildings that were found constructed in violation of building rules in Kochi will begin shortly.

An investigation carried out by the office of the Senior Town Planner (Vigilance) in Kochi last year had identified 34 cases of violation of Kerala Municipal Building Rules.

A list of 21 officials, including a former corporation secretary, a corporation engineer, a town planning officer, an assistant executive engineer and a few building inspectors of the local body responsible for issuing building permits and other clearances for the structures was also drawn up by the Local Administration Department following the inspection.

The ground verification of the buildings needs to be carried out for fixing the responsibility regarding the violations. In some cases, the builders might have constructed the building plans after obtaining all the clearances from the local bodies. In some other cases, the civic authorities might have permitted the violations.

Each case will have to be examined separately against the permit documents for fixing the onus of the violations, said a Vigilance official.

Legal action will be initiated against the erring officials after the completion of the assessment. The evaluation process has already started in some local bodies of the State, he said.

Inspections revealed that building permits were issued in a few cases violating the rules. Violations in setback from roads, floor area ratio and coverage, additional construction and floors without permission and deviations from Town Planning Schemes were also detected. In some other cases, the completion plans of structures were found different from the permit plans.

In the case of buildings which were constructed violating the rules, stop memos would be issued.

The builders will also be asked to demolish the structures which were constructed flouting the norms, said an official.

Officials of the department felt that the inspection of completed buildings before issuing occupancy certificates was not effective in the State.

The building inspectors are supposed to personally check the structures to ensure that they are constructed in compliance with the rules and regulations, he said.

The vigilance team had also pulled up the Kochi Corporation for issuing building permits without proper verification of the Detailed Town Planning scheme and provisions of the structural plans. It had also suggested that the building inspectors of the local body may be posted on a rotational basis in various zonal offices.

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