Friday, June 9, 2017

PMRDA to raze illegal buildings on 24-hr notice


PUNE: A 24-hour notice is all that's needed for the Pune Metropolitan Region Development Authority (PMRDA) to pull down illegal, under-construction structures. This is according to the latest amendment to the Maharashtra Regional Town Planning Act.

Once a structure is declared illegal, the notice can be issued and the unoccupied, under-construction building can be pulled down, said PMRDA chief Kiran Gitte, intensifying the drive on illegal structures in areas that fall under the authority's jurisdiction, like Undri, Ambegaon, Keshavnagar, Hinjewadi, Sus and Mhalunge, among other areas.

There are 1,650 structures that cannot be regularized. Among these, the under-construction buildings will be dealt with first before the remainder are assessed. "We would specially survey the metro route and ring road project areas, and take action against any such illegal constructions that will hamper these projects," said Gitte.

The PMRDA aims to deal with all the illegal structures by next April, and has listed those structures which can be pulled down with a 24-hour notice, instead of the 30-day notice as was the norm till now.

Annasaheb Chavan, officer on special duty at PMRDA, told that their team, after surveying the area, issued notices and is getting ready to take action. "This should send a strong message to developers who are carrying out such constructions. These structures will be brought down within no time," Chavan said, adding that the PMRDA will also initiate action on any encroachments within the same time frame.

The demolition drive has been pending for many years due to a shortage of manpower. Now, with a separate cell, action has been expedited. The amendment helped the body take quick action.

As per the PMRDA, there are a total of 18,000 illegal structures. Work is in progress to check how many of these structures can be regularized. PMRDA officials stated that they have also started conducting a survey on such structures. A private agency was appointed for the demolition drive. The agency is to be paid Rs570 per square metre, with the amount to be reclaimed from the building's owner, said PMRDA officials.

Late last month, the PMRDA had demolished a four-storey illegal building in Hinjewadi on Saturday. An official had told that the builder had failed to respond to repeated notices, which initiated the action as per the Maharashtra Regional Town Planning Act.


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