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HC summons top development bosses

india Updated: Nov 14, 2006 01:46 IST
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TAKING SERIOUS note of the official apathy in non-implementation of its order against multi-storeyed buildings that flouted fire-safety norms, the Lucknow bench of the High Court has summoned the principal secretary (Industrial development), vice-chairman LDA and secretary, town planning and development, on November 20.

The division bench comprising Justice Pradeep Kant and Justice BB Agarwal passed the order on a PIL filed by the Gomti Nagar Jan Kalyan Samiti through its counsel BK Singh. The petitioners alleged that multi-storeyed buildings were being raised without obtaining no objection certificate (NOC) from the fire department.

It may be recalled that the court had earlier directed the development authorities to make it obligatory for every builder of multi-storeyed complexes to obtain an NOC from the fire department at the time of getting their building plan cleared.

Those builders whose multi-storeyed complexes were under construction were required to obtain the certificate within two months and they were not allowed to put their building to use unless the requisite fire-fighting equipments were installed. A decision regarding the high-rise buildings constructed long back was to be taken at a later stage, it was said.

However, misinterpreting the earlier HC order, the LDA vice-chairman had given an advertisement in newspapers stating that water and electricity connections of the complexes, which failed to comply with the HC order, would be cut. The advertisement reportedly created a lot of confusion.

The bench, while clarifying its order, accordingly summoned the LDA vice-chairman to appear in person on November 20 so that its orders may not be misunderstood.

According to BK Singh, the two-month deadline given by the court had expired (the court, according to him, issued the first order in the case on September 8), but no action was taken against those flouting the norms. Additional advocate general Jaideep Mathur appeared on behalf of the State and informed the court that necessary action was being taken by the government. The LDA had twice issued public notices to the owners of multi-storeyed structures to furnish the necessary NOC in compliance with the order.

Apart from private complexes, the list also includes names of some five-dozen government buildings that do not possess the requisite NOC. Some of these prominent high-rise buildings  include the La Place, Sahkarita Bhawan, Jawahar Bhawan, Shakti Bhawan, OCR complex, Lalbagh Officers Colony, Yojana Bhawan, Vikas Deep, Bahukhandi in Dalibagh, Bapu Bhawan etc.

Despite a recent announcement by LDA vice-chairman BB Singh saying buildings that failed to furnish an NOC from the fire department by October 31 would be sealed after November 3, no action had been taken in the matter so far.

LDA officials said individual notices had been served to the concerned head of the departments in case of government buildings and to the estate department regarding government group housing projects like the OCR, Bahukhandi, La Place and Lalbagh Officers’ Colony. The total number of high-rise structures in the State capital that did not possess an NOC, according to them, was 250.

The UP Housing Board issued its first public notice through newspapers to the owners of some two-dozen structures in the State only about a week back.

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