Almost incapable of putting a check on mushrooming of illegal buildings in the city despite making serious efforts, the Patiala municipal corporation has now decided to cross-check the data of illegal buildings prepared by the building branch of the civic body.
In a written communiqué to all sub-divisional officers (SDOs) working in the civic body, mayor Amarinder Bajaj on Saturday told them to conduct surveys in each ward, for which they have been assigned the work of development.
"The SDOs of all our branches will inspect the areas and cross-check the illegal buildings. Thereafter, we will cross-examine the data prepared by the building branch," Bajaj told HT.
Though, the building branch officials have been deputed to keep a watch on the coming up of these buildings, in the recent past, the data and the information provided by this branch has been found "suspicious".
Especially, in case of a multi-storey building on Bhupindra Road near the City Centre market, where the mayor's office smelled a rat in the coming up of this building and the second story of the building was demolished by the civic body on the orders of the mayor on Friday.
Similarly, there have been reports of the connivance of a "few officials" of the building branch with the owners of the illegal buildings, that is why these officials allegedly give a wrong information about coming up of these buildings to the mayor or the commissioner's office.
"In many cases, the information given by a few building branch officials has been found wrong. Many a time, a few officials have been found giving wrong information just to protect the illegal building owners," said the mayor.
The SDOs have been asked to give information by May 30. "Thereafter, we will fix the accountability of each building branch official and will hold him responsible for any new illegal addition to the buildings," the mayor said.
Sources in the building branch of the corporation said it was unlikely that any addition or new building can come up in the city without the knowledge of the building branch, as the inspectors of this branch have to make regular checks of the areas assigned to them.
Despite the check, such buildings have come up in the city in large numbers posing a serious threat to the planned development of the city, despite bringing heavy losses to the civic body.