Published On : Thu, Aug 17th, 2017

Twin Tragedy : NMC ordered to submit Armors township sanction plan by tomorrow

NMC Nagpur

Nagpur: Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC), which has been facing the heat for sanctioning the Armors Township is now in a tizzy as the Bombay High Court has asked the civic body to submit the sanction plan of said township by tomorrow 18th August 2017. Recently 11 year old twins Priyansh and Piyush Dhar got electrocuted after coming in contact with high tension electric wires passing overhead in the township. The issue was blown out of proportion following which the police was forced to arrest the builder of said township.

On Thursday, a division bench comprising justices Bhushan Dharmadhikari and Arun Upadhye on Wednesday constituted a panel as suggested by amicus curiae Shreerang Bhandarkar and asked its registry to complete the necessary formalities. After discussions with all the lawyers of parties concerned, it was decided that a retired principal district judge like Subhash Mohod or other ex-judges like WG Paunikar could be asked to lead the panel.
It was also decided to have one representative from media in form of president or secretary of Nagpur Union of Working Journalists (NUWJ). The Nagpur District Legal services Authority (DLSA) was also asked to submit names of lawyers and volunteers who would work on the court’s panel. The judges emphasized on inclusion of legal experts.
The court was hearing a suo motu PIL based on TOI reports on deaths of 11-year old twins along with five-year old Umesh Pande due to electrocution from HT wires.

The amicus provided about 19 terms of references on which the panel would work and suggested names of some persons to work on it. The panel would suggests ways and means to find out solution regarding 141 potentially dangerous spots in residential areas from where HT lines are passing.

It will identify additional such sites in congested residential and commercial localities. It will further examine on whether town planning officials are ignoring violation of Development Control Regulations (DCR) in the case of constructions under HT lines, and suggest removing of structures coming under them or whether lines should be shifted.

Earlier, senior counsel Surendra Kumar Mishra, appearing for Armors Township builder Anand Khobragade, strongly defended his client stating that he built the township only as per NMC’s sanctioned plans, but the residents extended those balconies on their own which exposes them to the HT wires.

He passed the buck on the civic body stating that HT wires existed there since 1995 and his township received sanction on April 6 and 28 in 2004 (for two phases). He asserted that the building plan was fully complying with DCR.
Mishra flayed the corporation for pointing out that the builder violated norms in 2017 and doing nothing for all these years, despite the fact that the township was completed in 2009. He pointed out that after handing over the possession to residents, how can the builder again extend balconies.

Expressing his desire to pay compensation to the victims, he prayed for defreezing his attached properties due to which he was facing severe financial problems.

Thereafter, the judges asked NMC’s counsel Sudhir Puranik to submit sanctioned plan on the next hearing.

During the last hearing, the court directed NMC and NIT to submit a detailed list of its officials and corporators responsible for sanctioning these 141 localities under HT lines, thus posing grave threats to residents.