Published On : Wed, Feb 13th, 2019

Trunk Line damage by builder: Town Planning Deptt tries to clear air to ‘save its skin’

Builder carrying out construction work without NMC’s permission

Nagpur: Rattled by the damning report published by Nagpur Today titled ‘Dubious’ builder at it again, damages NMC’s ‘Trunk Line’ at Bharat Talkies,’ the Town Planning Department of the civic body resorted to damage control exercise and save its skin as well. It has come to the fore that the ‘tainted’ builder has been carrying out construction work without permission as the Town Planning Department has not approved the proposal.

In its report, Nagpur Today had stated that ‘Once an entertainment hub, Bharat Talkies stood tall between the road from LIC Square to Mount Hotel Square. However, the nearby residents were left enraged when a builder extensively damaged the NMC’s ‘Trunk Line’ passing through beneath the Bharat Talkies. Alerted over the damaging work, Mangalwari Zone authorities directed the builder to stop work and restore the damaged Trunk Line immediately. However, as the builder snubbed the directive with disdain and continued his work, the matter reached NMC headquarters and Sadar Police Station.’

Furthermore, the NT report had raised question marks over the working style of Town Planning Department. As how the map was sanctioned and construction permitted at the Bharat Talkies premises fully knowing the age-old Trunk Line passed beneath the ground at the premises. It may be recalled that the builder Kishore Rai has been grabbing headlines since the past 10-15 years for one dubious act or another. The housing complexes the builder constructed turned out to be of poor quality, cheap but at vantage places. Currently, the builder is constructing a multi-storey commercial complex by demolishing Bharat Talkies. As the information of start of construction reached the local Corporator Mamata Sahare, she immediately sent the Sanitary Inspector Bhushan Gajbhiye of Mangalwari Zone to carry out spot inspection. Subsequently, Gajbhiye went to the construction site and informed the builder that a ‘Trunk Line’ of British era passes 40 feet beneath the site and the line is connected to a Central Nagpur-based nallah passing through Sadar, Tent Line, Gaddigodam, Khalasi Line, Mohan Nagar and other localities. The builder was told to start construction work only after laying down a new line in place of main line. However, the arrogant builder told Gajbhiye to ‘mind his own business.’ ‘I will deal with Bangar.’ (Municipal Commissioner).

Upset over the damage to the Trunk Line at Bharat Talkies premises and untold difficulties to the nearby residents, Corporators Mamata Sahare of Prabhag 9-C and Mohd Jamal of Prabhag 7-B shot letters to the Town Planning Department and apprised it about the ordeal. The two Corporators sought clarification from the department as to whether the Rai Group of Builders accorded permission for construction at Bharat Talkies and how the permission approved?

Subsequent to the letters received from Corporators Mamata Sahare and Mohd Jamal, the Town Planning Department, to clarify its position, sent a letter to Assistant Commissioner, Mangalwari Zone No. 10 and apprised him with facts. In the letter, the Town Planning Department said, “It is being informed that the Director of Scroll Vinimay Private Ltd Laxman Manohar Sawant (C/o Rai Udyog Ltd) has submitted a building map No. 666/Sitabuldi/TP/NMC in this office on 8.1.2019 for the proposed of the proposed construction at Mauza Sitabuldi, Khasra No. 101/2, 102/2, 108, City Survey No. 1870/1, 1872. However, no approval (permission) has been given to the said proposal as yet. Since the said plot of land comes within 20.00 mtr under Nagpur Metro Rail Corridor (NMRC), a proposal has been sent by Town Planning Department to the builder to procure No Objection Certificate (NOC) of NMRC.”

Coming to the Nagpur Today report, it was stated that soon after Gajbhiye’s return, the said builder started digging work at the basement for two-storied parking slot. Even as the digging had reached around 20 feet, the JCB machine damaged the Trunk Line extensively. The moment the ‘Trunk Line’ blasted, the dug up hole was filled up with filthy water. The information of the ‘dirty act’ reached Prabhag Corporators Burrewar and Mamata Sahare and also to former Mayor Rajesh Tambe. The trio rushed to the spot in a huff as also the Managlwari Zone Deputy Engineer, Zonal Health Officer and Sanitary Inspector Gajbhiye as well. This time, Gajbhiye issued a written order to the builder to stop work and lay a new line. On the other hand, the builder deployed three pumps and released the filthy water into a drain near Mount Hotel Square. The work of releasing the water was going on so that the construction work could go on.

Offended by the builder’s ‘care a hoot’ attitude, Sahare and Tambe reached Sadar Police Station to lodge a complaint in this connection. However, instead of registering a case, the Sadar cops told Sahare and Tambe that authority to lodge complaint lies with Zonal Health Officer. Disgusted, both Sahare and Tambemet the Additional Municipal Commissioner Ravindra Thakre and apprised him about the matter. Thakre discussed the matter with Ward Officer Harish Raut and asked him to initiate necessary action. However, Raut pleaded that no action could be taken during notice period. Later, Sahare and Tambe shot a letter to NMC’s Town Planning Department and sought its reply as how the building plan presented by Rai Group was sanctioned over the 70-year old British era ‘Trunk Line.’ Had the Department inspected documents submitted by the builder before sanctioning of the map? Sahare and Tambe asked and sought all the concerned documents within three days.

Double standards:
Recently, one applicant in Town Planning Department and one in Estate Department had demanded NMC’s land on lease. The Estate Department sought suggestion of Town Planning Department. The Department informed the Estate Department that since a drain/sewer line of NMC is passing through the said land, no permission could be given for construction work. For this reason, the application was rejected. On the other hand, the same Town Planning Department permitted construction work at Bharat Talkies where the ‘Trunk Line’ passes beneath the ground. Is this not illegal? Is legal action should not be initiated against the concerned authority?