BHUBANESWAR: The Bhubaneswar Development Authority (BDA) on Saturday began demolishing one of the most popular addresses for the fashion-conscious in the capital city as the structure violated building norms.
The urban body started demolishing a part of the multi-storey commercial establishment on Janpath. The four-storey building houses a bank on the ground floor and the popular garment shop above that .
"The building had got permission for construction up to first floor. The ground floor was meant for commercial purpose, while the upper floor was for residential. But the owner constructed two extra floors without BDA approval. The unauthorized floors will be razed," said enforcement officer, BDA, Deba Prasad Dash.
Official sources said, the BDA had issued notice to the house owner in 2008 and sought explanation. It issued a demolition order after the reply was found unsatisfactory. The owner then moved the Orissa high court but the court sent it back to the BDA, which ordered demolition.
"We asked the garment shopowner to vacate the upper floors of the building. The demolition work will take about a week," Dash said.
"There were several allegations that BDA is not taking action against big players and targeting petty violators. Now strict action will be taken against all violators."
Sources said most of the big fishes managed to get stay orders from courts. Recently, demolition of two multi-storey buildings was halted as the owners got stay orders from the court.
The owner of the building was not available for comments. Owner of the garment shop Manoj Maheswari said, "We did not receive any prior notice from the BDA before the demolition drive. They might have sent it to the owner, but we are bearing the brunt without any fault of ours."
The BDA has identified as many as 34 such unauthorized multi-storey buildings in the city. "We have roped in a company to raze these massive structures using implosive technology. We have targeted to demolish two to three big structures in January next year," Dash informed.
Over the years, the BDA listed more than 18,800 cases of major violations under the Odisha Development Authority (ODA) Act, but action was taken only in 250 cases. Buildings, which are constructed on government land, government road, public drains and lands reserved for government projects violating building norms, are under BDA scanner, sources said.