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HindustanTimes Sat,23 Aug 2014

MC quick to save face, but lazy in taking action

Arjun Sharma, Hindustan Times  Ludhiana, May 07, 2013
First Published: 21:08 IST(7/5/2013) | Last Updated: 21:10 IST(7/5/2013)

After utter failure in checking conversion of properties for different usage than permitted, to save itself from embarrassment the municipal corporation (MC) has now sent a proposal to the state government to legalise the conversion of properties from shop-cum-flat into restaurants and eateries.

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A number of owners of the buildings in various areas of the city, including Ghumar Mandi, Sarabha Nagar and Pakhowal Road, have flouted building bye-laws. Though conversion of SCFs into restaurants is not permissible under the building bye-laws, instead of taking action against the violators, the corporation is trying to save its face.

The conversion of properties on the one hand highlights the apathetic attitude of the building branch towards such violations, and on the other raises eyebrows on the role of MC commissioner RK Verma, who has not taken any action against officials permitting such violations in their respective areas.

The building branch that is responsible to check such violations also has no reply regarding these violations, making it an apparent case of a nexus between the officials concerned and violators.

Surprisingly, though municipal town planner Raj Kumar knows about the sorry state of affairs, he also feigned ignorance about why there was delay in action against these violations.

“Yes, there are several cases of conversion of properties in various areas of the city. But, nothing has been done so far in this regard,” he said.

However, officials of the building branch are quick to reply that these violations are not being checked due to shortage of staff.

A senior official of the building branch, Zone D, said, “We do not know when these conversions took place. It is due to shortage of staff that we do not come to know about such changes.”

He said after such violations took place, it became difficult for the branch to take action against the violators.

“Inaction against officials allowing such violations has probably given a boost to such officials to work hand in glove with the offenders for petty gains. The MC commissioner must take action against such officials,” said Amreek Singh, a resident of Sarabha Nagar.

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