Nagpur: Two illegal buildings have been constructed on 45,000 square meter land in Empress Mall. Some portion of the illegal buildings was demolished in the anti-encroachment drive by NMC on Wednesday. The demolition has been halted temporarily and will resume after the order from the senior NMC officials.
First anti-encroachment action was taken on August 19 but the mall management expressed willingness to remove the encroached portion within three days on their own and hence the action was postponed.
But the management of the mall failed to honour its word and no encroachment was removed. Therefore the Dhantoli zonal office started demolition drive and razed the illegal parking lot structures built on the fourth floor.
Likewise, constructions of 25 rooms were removed. constructed portion of the godown being built on the ground floor of the mall was also razed with the help of JCB.
The demolition drive started at the noon and continued till evening. The squad also slapped a penalty of ` 2 lakh on the mall management. The NMC is flooded with the complaints against the mall which is alleged to have constructed structures in excess of the permitted construction. Notices were served to the management but they did not take any action on their own and hence action was taken.
Hotel in place of parking
Considering the crowd at the mall, the facility of parking is a given and this was shown in the map but instead of using the reserved land for parking, they constructed a hotel there. Deputy zonal engineer Anil Kadu said that the said illegal hotel too will be demolished.
Seniors order awaited
Demolition squad halted the drive temporarily and is awaiting orders from the seniors. The mall has constructed two illegal buildings on 45,000 sq ft land. Action was supposed to resume on Thursday but since there was no order from the seniors, no action was taken on Wednesday.
No fine paid
Despite serving notice, the mall management did not pay the penalty. Since the demolition action was taken on Wednesday, it was expected that the penalty would be paid on Thursday, but nothing of the sort happened. This shows that the management is least bothered about the civic body and its action.
Empress mall has been constructed by violating all the construction rules. More than 45,000 sq ft land has been encroached upon by the management and there are many dangers awaiting those accessing the mall. There is question mark over the safety precautions like fire fighting mechanism within the mall in case of emergency. Who will be responsible in case of any contingency?