IN AN astounding move the high-rise committee, headed by Municipal Commissioner Vinod Sharma, on Sunday gave the green signal to raise the height of the proposed structure at 170, RNT Marg, to 24 metres from the original 18 metres.
The structure, to host a mall-cum-multiplex, is being built by M/s Naman Malls promoted by Manish Kalani who also owns Treasure Island, a structure that has given both the Indore Municipal Corporation (IMC) and MG Road residents considerable grief by failing to put into place necessary civic and parking infrastructure.
Even the original 18-metre permission had raised concerns that the structure would play havoc with the traffic at the ultra-busy RNT Marg just as Treasure Island had done at MG Road.
Given the chorus of protests and Kalani’s track record, a recent IMC survey found Treasure Island guilty of fudging built-up area figures to save property taxes, observers have been left mystified by the committee’s approval to the height raising proposal.
Especially considering that this was the last high-rise meet headed by the Municipal Commissioner, which will henceforth be chaired by the Divisional Commissioner according to a recent governmental directive.
In all, six applications for raising building heights from 18 to 24 metres were approved by the committee comprising Indore Development Authority (IDA), Town and Country Planning, Fire and Traffic Department officials.
Among the other applicants that received the committee’s go-ahead were Gurjit Singh Chhabra (96/97-103, IDA Scheme No 54), director Aishwarya (Ring Road), M/s JP and Company (106, Scheme No 54), Ashok Aaron (6-19, IDA Scheme No 54 and Gurjit Singh Chaddha (12-14, Ring Road, IDA Scheme No 94).
Notably, the MP Municipal Corporation Act-1956 vests the Municipal Commissioner with powers to approve structures up to 18 metres in height. Buildings that exceed this figure, however, have to be cleared by a high-rise committee comprising IDA, T and CP and Fire Department officials.
Until now the committee was chaired by the Municipal Commissioner. However, the State Government recently changed the rules and decreed that the Divisional Commissioner would head the committee.