BHUBANESWAR: The state government has asked Bhubaneswar Development Authority (BDA) and Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) to probe alleged misuse of residential plots for commercial purposes.
On March 22, city-based social campaigner Biswanath Sahu wrote to chief minister Naveen Patnaik about mushrooming of commercial complexes in residential areas and apartments. He cited the 2013 order of Orissa high court, directing BDA and BMC to probe allegations of residential areas being converted for commercial use to drive home his concern.
"The enforcement agencies are hand in glove with builders and land dealers. They are deliberately overlooking the norms flouted by them. Commercial use of residential plots is leading to environmental hazards. Residential areas should be free from commercial intervention," the petition said.
Following HC direction, BMC had filed a report stating that if a residential plot is found to have been converted for commercial activities, holding tax is collected accordingly.
BMC deputy commissioner K P Pati said Rs 1,000 is charged for 100 sq ft of commercial area, which is far more than what is levied on residential plots. "In case of residential plots, holding tax comes to around Rs 48 per 100 sq feet area," he said.
Pati said BDA is the competent authority to explain rampant use of residential plots for commercial purposes.
Housing and urban development minister Puspendra Singh Deo said he would go through relevant files and a copy of the petition. "If any rule has been violated, appropriate action will be taken," he said.