A Rs 4.9-lakh penalty has been imposed on a leading mall of the city for violating building byelaws of the municipal corporation. MBD Neopolis, situated on the Ferozepur Road, had extended its area sans permission, an official said, adding that the MC action on a complaint by a citizen.
Ludhiana assistant town planner (ATP) Surinder Bindra confirmed the news: "Yes, we have imposed a fine of Rs 4.9 lakh for violation of building byelaws."
Contacted, the mall authorities had a different version. An official claimed that it was not a penalty but an "extension fee", charged for extending a part of the mall. Several people visit MBD Neopolis from Ludhiana and its periphery because of the showrooms of exclusive brands it houses.
The complainant, Rohit Sabharwal, who is also an RTI activist, said he had submitted an application to the MC at its Zone D office. In the complaint, Sabharwal said: "…as per the law of land, it is mandatory that each building/structure that is being constructed is made according to rules provided in building bye-laws."
Bindra said that earlier a notice was served to the mall after which the mall had also deposited the penalty. The mall authorities, however, claimed that it was not a "fine" but regularisation fee for extension of a banquet. MBD Neopolis director (corporate communication) Manav Guram said they had earlier submitted a request to the MC for the extension of the banquet. "We had deposited a Rs 4.9-lakh fee with it," he said.
Rohit, meanwhile, said that he had requested to the ATP that it may be ensured that whether the "building of the said mall or any part of the same building is built according to the building bye-laws or not. If it is found that any part of the said building is not legally constructed then appropriate action against the same be taken as per the appropriate law. (sic)"