Staff Correspondent

Matter discussed in the council meeting of the corporation

Councillor opposes filing of criminal cases

against those who violated guidelines

Cases can’t be withdrawn now, says HDMC Commissioner

HUBLI: Mayor Radhabai Safare has directed Hubli-Dharwad Municipal Corporation (HDMC) officials to issue permission for construction of residential buildings within one week from the date of receipt of application.

The Mayor gave this direction after a heated discussion on the issue during the general body meeting of the HDMC Council here on Thursday.

Participating in the discussion on fixing the fee for issuing computerised building permissions, some councillors raised the issue of the corporation filing criminal cases against building owners who had reportedly submitted false affidavits for obtaining completion certificates.

Councillor Pandurang Patil took exception to the move and urged the HDMC Commissioner to withdraw the cases immediately.

“The corporation should have imposed fine on building owners if they had violated the guidelines while obtaining completion certificates. What is the use of filing criminal cases against them,” Mr. Patil said.

Officials blamed

He said that it was the corporation officials who had introduced the system of issuing completion certificates based on the affidavits. The officials themselves had misled the people on the issue, and if the latter had violated the guidelines the officials were responsible for it, he said.

Answering to the queries, HDMC Commissioner Ajay Nagabhushan said that owners of commercial buildings were more than those of residential buildings among those who had violated the guidelines. As a result, 64 criminal cases had been filed in the High Court. It was not be possible to withdraw the cases now, he said.

If the corporation had failed to take action against the violators, it would have sent a wrong message to society, the Commissioner added.

However, Mr. Patil insisted on withdrawal of the cases and said that people would have to take the path of agitation if the cases were not withdrawn.

Congress councillor Deepak Chinchore and others who participated in the discussion stressed the need for early issuance of building permissions.

Discussion on the issue concluded with the Mayor directing the officials to issue building permissions within a week from the date of receipt of applications.

The meeting decided to refer the issue of revising property tax rates in the twin cities to the Standing Committee on Finance.