CAG raps regulatory bodies for failure to enforce building norms

The Comptroller and Auditor General of India chastised regulatory bodies of twin cities of Bhubaneswar and Cuttack for their failure to enforce building norms and directed them to take action against violators.

Although Section 91 of the Odisha Development Act provided that the development authorities had the power to demolish unauthorised constructions at the cost of the owner, both the Bhubaneswar Development Authority (BDA) and the Cuttack Development Authority (CDA) sat over several demolition orders, points out CAG in its latest report.

The report says out of 19,846 unauthorised proceedings registered against unauthorised or deviated constructions, including 437 high rise buildings, demolition orders were passed in 5,687 cases by the BDA during 1988-2012, of which in 4,025 cases, they were not executed even after five years from the date of passing of the DOs.

Similarly, in 84 such cases pertaining to 2001-11, unauthorised apartment buildings were not demolished, due to inaction of enforcement wing of BDA.

In case of Cuttack Development Authority, out of 136 unauthorised proceedings up to March 2012, though orders for demolition for 73 cases were passed, they were not executed.

“Due to lack of effective enforcement of demolition orders, builders who violated the regulation continued unauthorized or deviated constructions and irregular sale transactions as a consequence thereof,” the audit agency has found.

According to CAG, a joint inspection revealed that in 14 cases (BDA 8, CDA 6), construction was completed deviating from the approved plan. “Two multi-storeyed buildings were found to be constructed adjacent to the National Highway, though the same was prohibited under Regulation 58(4C) of Bhubaneswar Development Authority. There were 15 buildings in BDA area including three of government which were constructed without approved building plans. Thus, the existing enforcement mechanism provided no effective deterrence against unauthorised or deviated constructions,” it says.

The BDA is found to have overlooked provision of parking space for obvious reasons. “Out of 48 test checked high rise buildings, which were approved after Planning and Building Standards Regulation 2008, in 10 cases it was noticed that parking space requirement was calculated at 30 per cent of the total built up area instead of at 40 per cent of the built up area stating it to be approved under apartment category which should have been approved under high-rise category.

As a result against the requirement of 2,28,579 sqm parking area in these building 1,80,483 sqm. parking area was provided.”

The violation of the regulation resulted in shortfall in parking space of 48,096 sqm with equivalent extra built up area in these buildings, CAG estimates in the report.

In 14 cases construction was completed deviating from the approved plan

5,687 demolition orders were passed out of which in 4,025 cases they were not executed

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