Corporation’s one-off action sealing building raises questions

The Coimbatore Corporation sealing a building on the busy 100 Feet Road recently has raised many questions on its commitment to check building rule violation.

The Corporation had sealed the building saying that the owner had constructed the building in violation of the approved plan and converted the space earmarked parking to commercial use.

The Corporation’s action against illegal commercial buildings by sealing those has been few and far between. The last time the Corporation took serious action was in 2010 and that too after a court order, says consumer activist K. Kathirmathiyon.

The Corporation then sealed around 70 buildings and thereafter had not undertaken any drive.

Prior to that and thereafter the Corporation had acted only after accidents like the Kumbakonam fire tragedy or the Srirangam wedding hall fire. And that too for a brief while.

The Corporation, it appears, is least bothered about building rule violation because it is the public that suffers, Mr. Kathirmathiyon says and points out that one of the biggest contributors to the city’s traffic congestion and parking problem is the Corporation’s failure to ensure that buildings have parking space and they are not misused.

It is because of the Corporation’s ineffectiveness that builders and owners violate building rules with impunity. This ineffectiveness continues even after the Madras High Court has observed in an order that those who comply with the rules by allowing for parking space turn into a laughing stock in the eyes of those who violate rules with impunity, he adds.

To overcome the Corporation’s poor show in acting against existing illegal buildings, the Coimbatore Consumer Cause moved the Madras High Court asking for making mandatory the issuance of building completion certificate and providing power, water and sewerage connection based the certificate.

The Tamil Nadu Government agreed with the need for the issuance of such a certificate. The Housing and Urban Development Department then issued a government order and based on that the Municipal Administration and Water Supply Department framed and notified the Tamil Nadu Combined Development and Building Rules, 2019.

Even thereafter the Corporation or other local bodies are unwilling to issue the completion certificate, which if issued, will prevent illegal construction, Mr. Kathirmathiyon says and wants the Corporation to disclose the number of water and sewerage connections given to illegal buildings.

Sources in the civic body admit on condition of anonymity that the Corporation’s action against illegal buildings has been in fits and starts.

Even in cases where the civic body issues notices, it does not follow those to see conclusion. The last time the Corporation demolished a building was at least two years ago in R.S. Puram – a residential building – and that too based on court order, the sources add.

Town Planning Officer R. Sasipriya was unavailable for comments.

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Printable version | Jan 25, 2021 5:14:33 PM |

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