Authorities of Mangalore City Corporation (MCC) cleared eight shops built in violation of the law in the basement of Oberle Towers building in Balmatta here on Wednesday.

The operation, which began at 8.30 a.m., lasted for over three hours. K.N. Vijayaprakash, corporation Commissioner, who supervised the operation, told presspersons that the building owner had put up the eight shops in 266.37 sq. m area meant for parking in the basement, in violation of the law.

The Commissioner said that the owner of the six-storey building had obtained a building completion certificate from the corporation in 2007. The corporation had then permitted construction of five shops in 144 sq. m area in the basement. The remaining space (266.37 sq. m) was meant for parking.

Mr. Vijayaprakash said that the owner, Mohammed Arabi of Attavar, had misused the space meant for parking after obtaining the building completion certificate. Three notices were served to the building owner asking him to clear the illegal structures in the basements. He said that the corporation had identified 19 buildings in the city where space meant for parking had been misused. Owners of some of those buildings had applied for regularisation while cases pertaining to some were pending before the corporation Commissioner’s court, he said.

Mr. Vijayaprakash said that authorities of the corporation and the Fire and Emergency Services Department recently completed a survey of buildings where fire safety norms had been violated. The details were being compiled.

Meanwhile, the corporation action at the Oberle Towers drew the attention of many people. Welcoming the action, employees of some of the offices located in the building said it was difficult for them to find space to park their vehicles in the basement. But, now there would be no such problem, they added. Ramdas Pai, an onlooker, claimed that there were many such buildings in the city where parking space had been misused. Corporation authorities should take action against the owners of such buildings too, he said.

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