THOUGH the Bhopal Municipal Corporation began its drive against the illegal use of basements with much fanfare, the campaign would now be limited to big-sized plots. Besides, irregularities in the basements other than related to parking would not be checked during the present drive.
After two meetings with Minister for Urban Administration and Development Jayant Malaiya, it was decided that the basements being used illegally in the buildings on the big plots would be targeted during the drive. The buildings on small plots would not be covered.
Malaiya also visited MP Nagar and inspected the basements of some buildings. Due to these activities, the scheduled drive against basements could not be carried out from today. The officials, however, said the drive would begin from Tuesday.
The first meeting was organised Monday morning before the visit of Malaiya to MP Nagar.
But, no decision could be taken at the meeting. Later, the Minister visited MP Nagar, where the building owners were staging a dharna. The building owners also talked to the Minister.
During the visit, the Minister told that the commercial activities should be stopped in the basements of the buildings where the permission of exclusive parking was given.
The Minister was learnt to have soft on the commercial activities in the basements meant for the godowns. He, however, said that the shops should not be opened in such basements. Later in the evening, a meeting was again convened and it was decided that the basements of only big plots would be covered during the drive.
Sources said it was also decided that the basements, where the permission for parking was issued and being used for other commercial purposes, would only be covered during this drive.
According to sources, the decision to carry out limited drive against the basements was taken following pressure from building owners and traders in MP Nagar. Many influential people own buildings in this locality.
The drive had started after a visit of Divisional Commissioner K K Singh about a fortnight back. Singh and other officials had found that almost all roads in MP Nagar were being used as parking lot as the basements were being used for commercial purpose.
When asked, BMC Commissioner Manish Singh also said the drive would continue. But, it would be contained in the peripheral areas of MP Nagar on big plots, he added.
District Collector S K Mishra and other officials were present at the meeting.