Collector Anshul Mishra has filed a report at the Madras High Court bench here stating that the infrastructure at Vishaal-de-Mall to facilitate rescue operations during emergencies is ‘highly unsatisfactory’.

In his report, Mr. Mishra quoted the Madurai Municipal Corporation Commissioner as saying that actions have been initiated to cancel the planning and building permission issued to the mall.

“The Commissioner of Madurai Municipal Corporation has stated that the planning permission and building permission was granted to Vishaal-de-Mall in violation of rules and that disciplinary action is being initiated against the concerned officials. The Commissioner has also stated that action is being taken to cancel the planning permission and building permission issued in violation of rules”, Mr Mishra has said.

In compliance with the directions of the court, an inspection was conducted at Vishaal-de-Mall complex by the collector and officials from the Local Planning Authority (LPA), Public Works Department (PWD), Fire and Rescue department, traffic police and Madurai Municipal Corporation on March 9.

“As per the Development Control Rules, the building (of the mall) should accommodate 283 four wheelers, whereas the building could only accommodate 65 four wheelers. As of now parking facility for more than 200 four wheelers is not available”, the collector quoted the Member Secretary of LPA as saying after the inspection.

During the inspection, the chairman of Vishaal Promoters Limited is said to have proposed to construct two steel stair cases to facilitate the rescue operations during an emergency. Construction of additional stair-cases, as proposed, would not improve the requisite standards of safety and will only increase the possibility of stampede during emergency, Mr Mishra pointed out.

The LPA had originally moved the court challenging a single judge’s order directing the Madurai Collector to issue licence for operating five theatres by INOX Leisure at the fifth and sixth floors of Vishaal-de-Mall.

In an appeal against the order, the LPA claimed it never approved the plan for the mall. “The Corporation authorities themselves approved the plan on behalf of the LPA. A forged seal of LPA was affixed on the back side of the plan by the Corporation authorities”, it was stated.

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