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Updated: July 3, 2012 09:35 IST

No building plan approval given sans norms: Mayor

Staff Reporter
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Mayor V.V. Rajan Chellappa. Photo: R.Ashok
The Hindu Mayor V.V. Rajan Chellappa. Photo: R.Ashok

The Collector in a statement had said that the Madurai Local Planning Authority (LPA) had issued notice to 28 buildings and 20 lay outs in the city that had violated the norms.

Mayor V.V. Rajan Chellappa has clarified that the Corporation under the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam regime has not given any building plan approval violating the norms.

He was responding to the Sunday’s warning issued by Collector Anshul Mishra that the powers on town planning given to the local body would be withdrawn if the Corporation administration did not mend its way of misusing the powers by unilaterally giving building plan approvals violating established norms.

However, Mr. Chellappa was quick to add that five building plan approvals given by the Corporation Standing Committee on Town Planning, which raked up controversy during the last council meeting, would be referred to the State Government for its final clearance.

Talking to reporters here on Monday, the Mayor said that he came to know about the warning only through media reports and the Corporation had not received any communication from the district authorities.

The Collector in a statement had said that the Madurai Local Planning Authority (LPA) had issued notice to 28 buildings and 20 lay outs in the city that had violated the norms.

Mr. Chellappa said that all those violations had taken place during the previous Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam regime (in Corporation).

“We accept that we could not set those things right immediately. But, we will ensure that such violations are at least contained,” he said.

Stating that notices had been issued to 712 buildings that had violated the building height norms meant for heritage city, the Mayor said the building owners had replied that the buildings had been constructed much before the rule came into existence.

“It is now revealed that for some of the buildings, the approval was issued by the Madurai Local Planning Authority,” he said.

On the five plans approved by the Standing Committee, Mr. Chellappa said that the applications for plan approval had been rejected by the officials of Corporation Department of Town Planning since the local body was not authorised to clear the plans for commercial buildings beyond 2,000 square feet and for residential buildings beyond 4,000 square feet.

“However, we are sure that those plans were approved by the standing committee not with an ulterior motive. No wrong has been committed. We will refer them to the State Government,” he said.

Stating that Madurai city lacked infrastructure like Chennai and Coimbatore, Mr. Chellappa said that there were many buildings that had violated norms.

“But, there has no been precedence of any building being demolished for violation of building norms in Madurai, except for those that had encroached upon Government land,” he said.

“We want to have a positive approach on this issue … in a humane way, though we have the right to cancel any plan approved in violation of norms” he said.

However, to a question, Mr. Chellappa said that only the Chief Minister had the powers to withdraw the powers delegated to the Corporation.

“Corporation is a separate administration, headed by an IAS officer,” he added. Corporation Commissioner, R. Nanthagopal, said that he had fixed targets to the Assistant Commissioners to identify at least 10 buildings that had violated norms every week.

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