Buildings without sanction plan face action in Nilgiris

Special Correspondent

Authorities directed not to grant power and water connections

CHENNAI: The Madras High Court has directed authorities not to grant power and water service connections to buildings constructed either without any sanction plan or in violation of sanction plan in the Nilgiris district.

The First Bench, comprising Chief Justice A.P. Shah and Justice V. Ramasubramanian, passing orders on a public interest litigation petition filed by advocate G. Rajendran, restrained the Tamil Nadu Electricity Board and the Tamilnadu Water and Drainage Board from granting electricity and water service connections “to any building or farm house or structure, which has been constructed without a sanction plan or in violation of the sanction plan” until further orders. They also ordered notices to the Government, returnable in two weeks.

In his petition, Mr. Rajendran submitted that though there was a statutory provision to limit the height of buildings in the Nilgiris to less than seven metres, there were hundreds of structures beyond the limit.

He said the rampant violation of building laws in Ooty, Gudalur, Kothgiri and Coonoor taluks in the district had an adverse impact on the bio-diversity, and added that the Hill Area Conservation Authority too had not taken effective steps to curb the violations.

Though authorities issued notices to the violators the punishment envisaged under the relevant law was not deterrent enough, he said, and added that many violators paid the fine and continued the construction.

The special guidelines for construction of buildings too were violated and constructions put up in total disregard to the public safety and environmental harmony.

He prayed for a direction to the authorities to take legal and coercive steps against the illegal and unauthorised constructions in the district, and wanted the court to direct the authorities to come out with details of the buildings that were completed in violation of planning rules.

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