Consensus reached on building norms as residents near Army barracks at West Hill heave a sigh of relief

For over two years, people around the military barracks in West Hill, Kozhikode, were living in distress owing to building regulations imposed by the Army. The Kozhikode district administration and the Kozhikode Municipal Corporation took a bold step on Monday to solve the issue that put local people and the Army at loggerheads.

A meeting of people’s representatives and the Army authorities convened by District Collector S. Sambasiva Rao on Monday decided to give building permits in the region based on the Kerala Municipality Building Rules (KMBR) and the directions of the Ministry of Defence on NOCs issued in 2016. In case the Army unit had any difference of opinion, it could ask the ministry to amend rules, the District Collector said in the meeting.

MPs M.K. Raghavan, Elamaram Kareem, M.V. Sreyamskumar and MLA Thottathil Raveendran had pointed out the difficulties faced by local people as the Army unit did not provide no objection certificates (NOC) for buildings even 100 metres outside its boundary.

Meanwhile, the Kozhikode Corporation, in a meeting of the corporation council on the same day, made a decision to provide building permits 10 metres beyond the defence land, without the NOC of the Army unit. If the buildings are more than 16 metres high, the permit will be available only beyond 500 metres, while telecommunication towers beyond 200 metres of the defence land will get permit.

The West Hill barracks is not a significant military post, but the Army officials had maintained in several meetings convened by the Mayor that they were against construction within 100 metres from the defence land. This and the alleged high-handedness of the Army had caused quite some tension in the area for the past two years.

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Printable version | Jul 31, 2021 5:44:44 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kozhikode/consensus-reached-on-building-norms-as-residents-near-army-barracks-at-west-hill-heave-a-sigh-of-relief/article34932364.ece

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