Nation Current Affairs 01 Jun 2017 Rampant violation of ...

Rampant violation of building norms despite Madras HC orders

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | J STALIN
Published Jun 1, 2017, 1:30 am IST
Updated Jun 1, 2017, 1:30 am IST
The Madras HC has issued various directions to the authorities since then.
Madras High Court
 Madras High Court

Chennai: Despite the courts closely monitoring the building violations in the city, fire accidents in multi-storied buildings have become more common of late. On Wednesday, a fire broke out in Chennai Silks. But luckily there was no casualty.

Following a fire accident at a building on Narayanappa street in the George Town area in 2014, social activist Traffic Ramaswamy filed a public interest litigation in the Madras high court to direct the authorities to take action against illegal multistoried buildings in the George Town area particularly in Sowcarpet and its vicinity, which were constructed without mandatory safety measures to prevent fire accidents.

 

The Madras HC has issued various directions to the authorities since then. The court enlarged the scope of the PIL to cover the entire city and also appointed advocate V. Suresh as amicus to assist the court. On December 9, 2016, the amicus filed a status report giving statistics on the unauthorised constructions and the action taken. In his report, Suresh pointed out that from 2009 the CMDA locked and sealed deviated and violated buildings instead of initiating demolition action. "In 19 years only 156 demolitions have been carried out by the CMDA.

 

This is an average of 8-9 demolitions per year, while they grant plan approvals for an average of 500 to 600 buildings per year. No buildings were demolished between 2009 and 2015 and 2 buildings were demolished in 2016 only to comply with court orders. Yet 132 buildings were locked and sealed for violations during this timeframe", he had added.

Suresh in his report had said the monitoring committee appointed by the court in 2006 identified and expressed concerns about other problematic areas where illegal construction was rampant and not regulated viz T.Nagar, Kodambakkam, Choolaimedu, L.B.Road and along the ECR. Out of these the committee discussed in great detail regarding the T.Nagar area, considered to have very serious violations requiring high priority enforcement action especially on Usman Road, Ranganathan Street, Natesan Street, Madley Road and G.N.Chetty Road, he had added.

 

After perusing the report, the bench headed by the then Chief Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul pointed out that enforcement action by the authorities has been comparatively sparse over illegal constructions in the city and said the enormity of the number of cases of violations was the astounding, showing complete failure of the system where the persons seems to be making constructions as they like without any fear of consequences.

Senior advocate A. Sirajudeen says, " It is time the judiciary appointed a committee consisting of advocates, planners and police officers and under the direct supervision of this committee, the officials who are privy to this violation are identified and summarily dismissed and also prosecuted under Sec.13(1)(d) of the Prevention of Corruption Act. Only then, the situation which has gone beyond redemption can be redeemed".

 

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