THE INDORE Municipal Corporation (IMC) recently identified 200 structures where basement space reserved for parking purposes had been put to commercial or residential use.
The Corporation declared the offending portions would be razed and also promised to initiate strict action against errant builders. Six months on, no action has been taken.
Meanwhile, the Corporation has issued a separate list targeting 12 structures that it says are guilty of the same offence and has threatened to knock these down in a phased demolition campaign starting February 19.
But what of the original 200 buildings? Why have their owners been let off the hook? Was the threatened demolition merely an attempt to wheedle large sums of money from the targeted builders, as is being charged in certain quarters.
“Building Permission officials take care of the builders and, in turn, expect the builders to take care of them. It’s a cosy arrangement,” quipped a senior municipal official speaking on condition of anonymity.
“Can you imagine the Municipal Commissioner and other top officials convening on a holiday to clear the decks for an application by an ordinary resident,” he queried referring to the recent high-rise committee meet on Sunday that gave the go-ahead to height increasing proposals by Treasure Island promoter Manish Kalani and a builder known to be extremely close to PWD Minister Kailash Vijayvargiya.
If it bends over to accommodate the builders the Corporation feels its only fair that they should reciprocate, said the officer and added that “when this doesn’t happen the IMC uses strong-arm tactics like threatening to demolish illegally constructed portions”.
When contacted Municipal Commissioner Vinod Sharma said the proposed demolition of illegal portions in the first list of 200 buildings was postponed as “certain clarifications were required”. Once this is done the illegal portions will definitely be razed, he added.