Special Correspondent

No demolition on Friday; only materials used for construction seized

COIMBATORE: The Local Planning Authority (LPA) and the Coimbatore Corporation resumed on Friday the drive against unauthorised constructions, a majority of which were in buildings having shops or offices.

Friday’s exercise targeted 25 buildings, 15 of which were in the city, Corporation Town Planning Officer M. Soundararajan said. Those in the city were in R.S. Puram, Saibaba Colony, Sivananda Colony, Cross-Cut Road and on Sathyamangalam Road.

District Collector Neeraj Mittal had ordered the resumption of the drive and even provided a list of buildings with violations such as totally unauthorised structures or those that were a deviation from the plan approved by the LPA.

The district administration, LPA and the civic body had a list of buildings that had unauthorised structures. Most these were buildings under construction. This gave the authorities the scope for stopping the unauthorised construction at the initial stage itself.

Mr. Soundararajan said that no demolition was done on Friday. Only implements and other materials used for construction were seized after notices were issued to the building owners. This was to tell them that stern action would follow. The structures would be demolished if the building owners or contractors ignored the warning and went ahead with the construction.

Officials involved in the drive on Friday said that non-allocation of parking space in commercial complexes made up the majority of the violations of building rules. Either these were totally taken up by structures for business purposes or not provided as per the approved plan.

The Collector issued an order recently asking builders and building owners to display before structures under construction details of the project, including a copy of the approved plan. The directive itself contained an observation that non-allocation of parking space was the major violation. It invited complaints from all sections of the public on any structure in any building that came up in violation of rules.

On other violations, the officials said that the required open space around buildings was not being provided. Besides, more floors than the one approved were being constructed. Of all these, the administration had taken a serious view of the non-allocation of parking space as this led to riding space on roads being taken up for parking of vehicles.

Concern over this problem was expressed at a recent meeting of a district committee on road and traffic improvements in the city. Formed as part of the Central Government’s infrastructure development programme - Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission - the committee lamented the lack of parking space even in multi-storeyed apartments.

Asked if the latest drive was the same as what the Corporation embarked upon some months ago, Mr. Soundararajan said that all these formed a joint operation by the civic body and the LPA. The Corporation had drawn up a list of 467 buildings late last year for the demolition of unauthorised structures in them. The officer said nearly 35 others volunteered to remove such structures. The drive had resumed to target those who persisted with these structures.

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