NMC’s Apathy : Armors Township residents served eviction notice

Nagpur: Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) has taken the most illogical route to take cognisance of the death of 11 year-old twins – Priyansh and Piyush Dhar who died of electrocution as the high tension line pass over their house in Armors Township, Sugat Nagar. NMC’s Ashi Nagar zone office has issued notice to the residents, asking them to vacate their houses in five weeks.

Individual notices were issued on Tuesday to owners of around 18 row houses of the township. These houses are under a 33 KV high tension (HT) line that recently took away lives of 11-year- old twin brothers Priyansh and Piyush Dhar.

The notice states that the construction was not done as per the sanctioned building plan and hence is illegal. “After five weeks, we will raze all the houses,” it stated. Residents expressed shock over the NMC’s action as they are being rendered homeless for no fault of theirs. “The plan was sanctioned years ago. Why is the NMC waking up now?” they said.

They have also raised questions on NMC’s functioning. “If the construction was illegal, why did NMC sanction it in the first place. NMC and power companies, who failed to act earlier, should now convert the line into an underground cable, ” residents said.

The township’s final building plan was reportedly sanctioned in 2015, ten years after residents started living in it. The layout plan of the township was sanctioned in 2005 and soon after, residents got the possession .

Ashi Nagar zone’s assistant commissioner Vijay Humne informed that the builder, Anand Khobragade, had misled the civic authorities. However, as per Maharashtra Regional and Town Planning Act, 1966, it is the duty of the civic body to inspect the construction work at every stage. “The spot inspection starts right at the plinth (foundation) level and continues at every stage of the construction till its completion. If NMC is conducting regular spot inspection, it cannot be misled,” said an architect.

On this, Humne admitted that NMC could not conduct spot inspection due to the builder. “It is the builder’s duty to inform us about the start of construction. Unless this happens, how will we know when the construction has begun,” he said.

Humne further blamed the residents for taking possession without occupancy certificate. But residents say that the builder kept them in dark. “We had no idea that the township was illegal as we were told the HT line was decommissioned,” they said.

Two days back, Jaripatka police had arrested two retired employees of NMC’s town planning department for sanctioning the plan of the township.