BHUBANESWAR: The Bhubaneswar Development Authority (BDA) allegedly extended over Rs 185 crore undue benefits to the developer of a multi-storey residential complex, Utkal Heights, at Pahala through irregular and unlawful approval of its building plan, sources said.
Quoting draft audit findings of the Account General Office here, sources said the agency unlawfully permitted construction of five blocks, having 6,19,427 square feet built-up area. The AG calculated the undue favour at Rs 3,000 per square feet, which is the selling price of the construction, totalling to Rs 1.85 crore.
Sources said BDA approved the plan, violating BDA (Planning & Building Standard) Regulation-2008, though the builder didn't had mandatory documents such as structural plan and design, electrical plan, water supply and sewerage plan, soil test report and no objection certificates (NOCs) from National Airports Authority of India, fire department, National Highways Authority of India, power distributor Cesu and undertaking regarding construction of stormwater drain.
Sources said BDA also favoured the builder in collection of security deposit. Though the agency should have collected refundable security of Rs 1.17 crore at the rate of Rs 100 per square metre, it collected only Rs 93.60 lakh, waiving Rs 23.80 lakh. The BDA authorities calculated security deposit by excluding the basement area from the total floor area of the building, though no such relaxation was permissible in the building regulation, it added.
The AG has reportedly pointed out that BDA officials took no step to ensure non-encroachment of government land by the developer and a long part of a canal remains inside the permitted project area. In order to accommodate the plan of the builder within the framework of permissible regulation, BDA officials unlawfully included the entire project area divided into two parts by the canal as a single piece to calculate the floor area ratio (FAR), sources said.
The audit body has asked the BDA to stop further construction at the project site, declare the entire structure as unauthorized and initiate legal action under Orissa Development Authorities Act. It suggested that if the builder secures all the necessary permissions, BDA may regularize the construction by charging compounding fee as applicable in case of unauthorized constructions.
Subhas Bhura, managing director of Utkal Builders, said the company is complying with the audit objections. "Some of the clearances got delayed because of slow pace of work in various government offices," he said.
The BDA authorities said they are examining the matter. "Since it is an old project, we need to look for details in the files before commenting on it," said BDA planning member Pitabasa Sahoo.