Ranchi: Several high-rise buildings in Adityapur, including three on the Tata-Kandra artery, are under Jharkhand High Court scanner for alleged unauthorised use of Jharkhand State Housing Board land.
Sources in the board's Adityapur division office said the court had prodded a three-member committee, headed by chief secretary Rajiv Gauba, to investigate the reported anomalies. "The probe panel will scrutinise claims (of the housing board) and counter-claims (of the builders), and then recommend action if irregularities are detected," said an insider.
State housing board MD Dilip Kumar Jha confirmed that a probe panel had been formed. "On March 14, we had served a notice to one of the builders, Kamla Constructions, which has illegally raised a seven-storey building called Heaven Palace in Adityapur. We will take similar steps against some other builders, including Nav Nirman Constructions that built three apartments on Tata-Kandra Road, after the probe panel submits its report to the high court," he said.
Jha added that they had recently suspended the former executive officer of the housing board's Adityapur division, Binod Kumar, for "indulging in corrupt practices".
According to sources, several plots of land belonging to the state housing board had been lying idle in Adityapur. Following the initiative of some local builders in 2009, the board agreed to allow them to set up residential apartments on conversion basis.
The agreement was that there would be a 40:60 ratio of flats between the board and the builders in the conversion system. The builders started their projects and sold flats to people. In 2013, the erstwhile JMM-led Hemant Soren government scrapped the conversion system and halted construction work, saying that such a land allotment agreement that involved constructions over Rs 5 crore was beyond the jurisdiction of the board. The builders then moved high court.
Nirmal Kabra, who bought office space in Heaven Palace, one of the disputed properties now, said the housing board claim of unauthorised construction after so many years was illogical.
"The housing board is guilty of double standards. It allowed the conversion system and now is calling buildings on land it allotted to builders illegal. These are residential apartments and offices we are talking about. People have paid for them. What will they do?" said Kabra, who is also the president of Seraikela Chamber of Commerce and Industry.