Officials in Coimbatore take action following fire in office complex on Thursday
The Coimbatore Corporation on Saturday placed under lock and seal 12 buildings, which it said were in violation of approved building plan. All the buildings are commercial complexes in various stages of construction.
The move comes two days after a fire at a commercial complex at Lakshmi Mills Junction in the city killed four women, but five months after the Corporation had served notices on 55 buildings, including the 11 cracked down upon today.
As per the Tamil Nadu Town and Country Planning Act, 1971, the Corporation ought to wait for a maximum of a month after serving notice to embark on further action.
In this case, the Corporation chose to wait for a much longer time. In fact, the notice period, for various buildings, expired between the second week of October and the first week of November last year.
At a press conference on Saturday, the Corporation did not have an answer to questions from presspersons on the delay.
Instead, Mayor S. Velusamy only chose to say: “No other Corporation could have acted as fast as the Coimbatore Corporation, which proceeded to act against the 55 buildings, beginning with the 11 on Saturday,” is all the Mayor S.M. Velusamy would say. The drive would continue on Sunday.
He went on to say in defence of the Corporation that it would have acted against another 140 buildings but the Local Planning Authority did not share the details of these structures.
Corporation Commissioner G. Latha and Deputy Commissioner S. Sivarasu said that in the next few days, the Corporation would seal all the 55 buildings, which were under construction when identified as illegal.
If any building was occupied, the Corporation would ask the occupants to vacate within 15 days or 24 hours, depending on the scale and nature of occupation and then take further action.
The two officers said that the Corporation would prepare a list of buildings that were in violation of rules to further take up the lock-and-seal drive. Commercial buildings constructed after 2007 and with violations would be targeted.
It would also target those buildings that were constructed prior to 2007 but with serious deviations from the approved plan. For buildings with minor deviations, the State Government has issued an order for regularisation.
The Commissioner also said that the Corporation would make public the list of buildings with deviations to caution people against taking up these on rent.