Nagpur: The city’s Empress Mall adjacent to Gandhi Sagar lake here has been in the eye of storm over its controversial construction sans necessary permissions. Now it has turned out that as many as 39 shop are running in unsafe and unauthorised manner. Making a declaration in this regard Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) has informed that these 39 shops are situated on the ground, first, second and third floors of Empress Mall The civic body had also directed developer KSL and Industries Limited to shut the shops, but since the order was not complied with, directives have been given to NMC water works department and MSEDCL/SNDL to snap water and power connections to these parts of the mall immediately.
A team of NMC Dhantoli zone, fire and emergency services department, and town planning department inspected the entire mall on February 28. On March 5, NMC Dhantoli Zone declared parts of the mall’s basement, ground plus fours floors as unauthorized, and issued notice under section 53 of Maharashtra Regional and Town Planning (MRTP) Act to KSL. It also directed it to stop using these parts and demolish the structures.
Also, the fire department issued notice dated March 6 to KSL under section 8(1) of the Maharashtra Fire Prevention and Life Safety Act declaring these parts unsafe and also directed vacating these areas due to lack of fire preventive and safety systems. Then, the department also issued letters to MSEDCL/SNDL and water works department to snap power and water supply, respectively, on March 6.
Copies of the notices were submitted with advocates Vivek Bharadwaj and Anirudha Deo, who represent petitioners Chandu Lade and others in the PIL being heard in Nagpur bench of Bombay high court.
The NMC departments have pointed out violations on a large scale in the mall. All these violations are in addition to the series of violations that came to fore in the mall since 2013. “All these unauthorized constructions cropped up in these parts of the mall after issuance of part occupancy certificate dated January 20, 2011. Total unauthorized construction is 1,58,105.07 sq ft (14,693.78 sq m),” NMC said.
Earlier, NMC had pointed out unauthorized constructions in mall and other structures in Empress City, excluding residential towers, at 4,71,247.21 sq ft. Now, the total unauthorized constructions have increased to 6,29,352.28 sq ft, which is equal to 630 residential flats measuring 1,000 sq ft each.
Hearing the PIL, judges BP Dharmadhikari and Swapna Joshi, on January 24, had slammed NMC for negligence. Also, MLC Anil Sole submitted LAQ for discussion in state legislative council, where discussion was held on March 7. A day before, NMC departments had issued the latest notices.