Corp's squad disbanded, illegal buildings flourish
Oct 21, 2013
Source : The Times of India


KOCHI: The special squad constituted by the revenue wing of the corporation to check unauthorized constructions in the city was disbanded one-and-a-half years though it had unearthed 248 such instances in 2011. The corporation also failed to collect the fine slapped on building owners when it faced severe fund shortage.

"Authorities failed to collect the fine as many violators approached the court challenging the local body's decision. Though the court asked them to submit an appeal before the corporation by paying half the amount, most of them have not done so," said corporation councillor M P Mahesh Kumar, adding that the demand to submit the details of the 248 offenders was turned down by the corporation authorities at a council meeting.

Meanwhile, town planning committee chairman K J Sohan said: "Checking will be done when owners of residential and commercial buildings submit their application for tax revision. Though we have started allotting new building numbers, certain clauses added by the state government created some confusion. So we had to postpone it."

For getting new building numbers, owners of each building will have to submit an application stating it is a residential or commercial space with the total built up area and parking space and an affidavit by the applicant stating that the details furnished are true.

"Though corporation officials are supposed to visit sites before approving applications, they usually compare the details with filed records and approve it due to staff shortage. If it deploys officials on a temporary basis, fine amounting to crores can be collected," he said.

More than 3,000 buildings in the city were found unauthorized in a survey conducted by the corporation three years ago.


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