Maharani Avenue IV plot owners in Coimbatore face the risk of layout turning unapproved

Published - September 29, 2021 12:06 am IST - Coimbatore

The possibility of approval for their layout getting cancelled stares at 108 plot owners of Maharani Avenue IV in Veerakeralam, following a Madras High Court order on a case filed by seven other plot owners, who sought to restrain the Coimbatore Corporation from “interfering in their owning and enjoying their properties”.

The seven plot owners moved the court when the Corporation attempted to construct a compound wall around their properties, claiming these constituted a reserved site, as shown in the plan approved by the Directorate of Town and Country Planning (DTCP).

They contended that the DTCP’s approval for the layout showed 108 plots and two reserved sites – a 2,301 sq.m. plot for park and 2,225 sq.m. land for community hall. But consequent upon an order of the then Veerakeralam Town Panchayat executive officer, the layout promoter, Ramasamy Gounder, had divided the 2,225 sq.m. land earmarked for community hall into 12 plots and that they had bought some of those plots.

Veerakeralam was merged with the Corporation in 2011. In 2017, the Corporation tried to put a fence around the community hall land, which included the litigants’ plots, saying it was going by the DTCP approval as reserved site.

The seven plot owners argued before the court that the Corporation should not ignore the then Veerakeralam executive officer’s order. In its response, the Corporation contended that the executive officer’s proceedings were illegal; that the official did not have the powers to modify the DTCP approval.

The Corporation also contended that it was in possession of the two reserved sites on which it planned to develop a park.

After hearing both the sides, High Court Judge N. Anand Venkatesh ruled that the Corporation should stop the compound wall construction, issue notice to all the Maharani Avenue IV residents to ensure that a gift deed was executed in favour of the Corporation for the two reserved sites, issue notice to the layout promoter Ramasamy Gounder or his legal heirs to execute a gift deed in its favour and if he or they failed, initiate legal action as failure to execute the gift deed, amounting to cheating.

The Judge further said that if the two reserved sites were not gifted to the Corporation, the original DTCP approval stood cancelled and the entire layout construed unapproved.

Based on the court order the Corporation had on August 17, 2021 issued notices to all the 108 plot owners. Several of them whose plots did not form part of either the park or community hall lands had in their reply of September 5, 2021 told the Corporation that they had nothing to do with the then executive officer’s illegal conversion of community hall land to housing plots or the promoter selling those 12 plots.

The executive officer and layout promoter had committed illegality for financial gain, they said and sought dropping of proceedings against them as they had done nothing illegal.

On the judgment impacting the entire layout, consumer activist K. Kathirmathiyon said the court could have focussed only on the illegal sale of 12 plots. It had now put the onus of executing the gift deed for the two reserved sites on the 108 legal plot owners also, while it should have been only on the layout promoter.

Also, the judgment did not address the illegality committed by the Veerakeralam executive officer or the layout promoter or the illegal purchases of 12 plots.

Corporation officials were unavailable for comment.

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