Bhubaneswar Development Authority throws building norms to wind
Details of the BDA meetings exposes that it showed unusual haste in approving the plan
Aug 26, 2013
Source : The Times of India
Utkal Signatures Bhubaneswar


BHUBANESWAR: Bhubaneswar Development Authority (BDA), the enforcing agency for building norms, violated the regulation itself by approving plan for a highrise residential complex on the outskirts of the city though there is no approach road to the location. TOI is in possession of documents that reveal this.

The agency approved the plan of a private developer for six blocks, including one 17-storeyed commercial structure and five residential buildings of nine to 22-storeyed at Pahala in February 2009. The illegality pertains to approval of the residential part only.

Clause 29 (2) of the BDA (Planning & Building Standard) Regulation-2008 which governs building norms in BDA area stipulates that development of plots shall not be permitted unless it is accessible by at least a six-metre wide public or private street. However, BDA approved the ambitious plan though the five residential blocks had no approach road.

Sources said a 40-feet wide canal owned by the state government separates the residential blocks from the commercial one. BDA clubbed both patches and passed the plan as the commercial building has an approach road of 300-ft width.

Details of the BDA meetings exposes that it showed unusual haste in approving the plan. The developer had applied to BDA with the plan on February 11, 2009. An "amin" inspected the site the same day. BDA's development plan and building plan (DP & BP) committee recommended the proposal for the authority's approval the very next day on February 12 that year. The BDA approved the plan only a day later on February 13. Neither the builder showed any permission for building a connecting road nor the BDA asked it to submit such consent before approving the plan, the documents show.

Sources said BDA had issued a show-cause notice to the builder in September 2010 and asked it to stop construction as it had no clearance from the water resources department for getting connectivity to residential blocks besides no permission from the ministry of environment and forests and no objection certificates from National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) and National Airports Authority of India (NAAI). Though the builder did not reply within 15 days time as asked, BDA took no action while the construction has progressed to an advanced stage.

BDA authorities when contacted said they would look into the matter before giving any comment. "I will check details of the case as I am not fully aware of the facts," said BDA planning member Pitabasa Sahoo.

Representatives of Utkal Builders, which is promoting the constructions, said most of the NOCs are in place by now. "We have got the permission of the water resources department for connecting the building across the canal. The delay was on the government part. We are not at fault. We have also applied to NHAI for its nod while all other clearances are in place now," said managing director of Utkal Builders Subhas Bhura.

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