Published On : Fri, Apr 17th, 2015

Is NMC’s Town Planning Deptt finding ways to legalize illegal construction by a builder in Dharampeth?

fsdNagpur: The ‘reputed’ Town Planning Department of Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) is set to grab headlines again, of course for dubious reasons. The Department, if sources are to be believed, has got itself activated with all its “bounties” to regularize or legalize the illegal construction done by a equally ‘reputed’ developer. The developer indulged in illegal or unauthorized construction in a multi-storied building in posh Dharampeth area of the city. The mega scheme is being constructed by the Dhavan Group of Builders. However, the Town Planning Department of NMC is going a step ahead and hell bent on legalizing the illegal construction in its own ways and means, revealed the sources.

The rules and regulations being practiced in NMC, say that if a MRTP (over construction) notice receiver submits a revised plan to the Town Planning Department, it is mandatory for the Department to arrive at a decision within one month at the most as to whether the revised plan is sanctioned or not. Generally speaking, the period for sanctioning the revised plan is stretched over for two months. According to Section Engineer of Town Planning Department K N Gorle, the Dhavan Group submitted its revised plan on March 3, 2015. Accordingly, the Department carried out an inspection of the construction site and subsequently ruled that no sanction is possible to the revised plan. Despite the adverse decision, the builder is going ahead and the construction is in full swing allegedly in connivance of some top Dharampeth Zone officials, said the sources.

Earlier, the Dhavan Group had resorted to construction over and above the first sanctioned plan. But when the Public Works Department of Dharampeth Zone slapped a notice under MRTP Act (Monopolistic and Restrictive Trade Practices Act) the builder developed cold feet and later hurriedly prepared a revised plan and submitted it to the Town Planning Department. This way, the builder stalled the possible action against him by the PWD of Dharampeth Zone, stated the sources.

Had the matter concerned with common people the Department would have demolished the illegal construction right away. But the high-profile construction is allegedly connected to a Ruling Party Corporator. Under her pressure the Town Planning Department is hesitating and avoiding a firm decision on the revised plan. In the meanwhile, faced with a dicey situation, the Sub-Divisional Officer of Dharampeth Zone raised his hands up and put the ball in a Junior Engineer’s court. In turn, the Junior Engineer, instead of sticking to rules and regulations of NMC, is showing soft corner for the developer by saying that unless and until the Town Planning Department takes a firm decision they can’t initiate action in the matter. Action is possible only after the Town Planning Department formally and firmly rejects the revised plan of the builder. Till then the construction at the site could go ahead. The stand of Junior Engineer clearly points out that the revised plan of the developer could be sanctioned, revealed the sources.

Interestingly, the entire sordid episode has created steamy situation in the NMC’s concerned departments and the officials, after finding themselves on slippery grounds, shrugging off their responsibilities and pointing out fingers at each other. And the builder, taking advantage of chaos, is going ahead with the construction allegedly in connivance of ‘bountiful’ elements.

The flip-flop on the part of NMC babus rather cracking the whip on the erring builder has again exposed the dubious affairs being run in the civic body and the shady role of the Ruling Corporator’s relative who once himself was a Corporator, sources said.

Sources further said the Group is already in the ‘list of bad builders.’ The conversion of AC room at the top floor of a huge building in Ramnagar area into a flat and selling it too is already in the news.

However, the slipshod affairs of the NMC departments have drew the attention of Lalsingh Thakur, Regional Secretary of All India Human Rights Monitoring Committee who has warned that if the concerned departments of NMC failed to initiate lawful action against the builder he would knock the doors of courts and seek strict action against the guilty.