Published On : Thu, Mar 16th, 2017

Eyebrows raised over NMC’s delay in demolishing illegal construction at Empress Mall

Nagpur: The Nagpur Municipal Corporation has been caught on the wrong end of law, thanks to its deliberate delay in taking action against the illegal construction at Empress Mall. Now that NMC is sitting idle on the demolition notice served to mall authorities good five days before.

Even after five days, neither M/s KSL Industries Ltd — developers of Empress Mall — nor the NMC has yet taken any demolition drive against illegal construction on the Mall premises.

“As per the fresh notice served by the Dhantoli zone, the Mall has made almost 13,000 to 14,000 sq MTR illegal construction. Besides this, it has also converted a portion of basement parking for use of godowns,” said assistant commissioner of Dhantoli zone Ganesh Rathod. Actually the demolition notice is fallout of a writ petition filed by Chandu Lade and Rakesh Naidu.

Through their PIL, the petitioners also raised the issue of KSL and Industries defaulting on payment of VAT of Rs52,55,82,573, water bill of Rs28,00,00,000, property tax Rs14,59,69,291, entertainment tax Rs18,00,000 and electricity bill Rs16,00,00,000.

Dhantoli zone of NMC had served a notice under MRTP Act directing them to demolish all illegal constructions.

As per the Nagpur Development Control Rules 2000, for over 100 sq metres commercial space construction there should be 36.6 sq metres reserved for parking.

The carpet area of the Empress Mall is around 26,288.784 sq metres. The Mall should have accordingly reserved 9,621.694 sq metres area for parking, the traffic police’s report had stated. The Mall also has a five-screen cinema theatre and as per rules, the Mall requires 10,316.902 sq metres for parking of all vehicles. But it only has 4,639.197 sq metres for parking.

According to the plan, the mall had proposed to keep the fourth floor for parking of two-wheelers and bicycles. However, it did not build the ramp to take vehicles to the fourth floor as shown in original plan.

“KSL and Industries Limited that constructed the Empress Mall had submitted a revised plan to the NMC town planning department,” said Rathod. He said KSL had earlier approached the urban development department for getting the revised plan sanctioned. Simultaneously it had also knocked the court’s door. But after UDD refused its revised sanctioned plan, on March 9, the zone office served a final notice to demolish all illegal constructions within 24 hours.

“We are waiting for its reply which included how much of its construction has been regularized and what is illegal,” he explained and added then only an action will be initiated.

Neither the Dhantoli zone nor the town planning department had taken any action to raze the illegal constructions in place for parking of vehicles, said the source.