Illegal buildings, both commercial and residential, have not only given Amritsar a jagged skyline, but have also meant that the municipal corporation has not been able to earn the revenue it should have as its fee for sanctioning the building plans of these structures, estimated to be around 100 in number primarily outside the walled city.
What makes the coming up of these illegal structures even more blatant is that almost all have been an electricity connection by Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL), even as these do not have the mandatory No-Objection Certificate (NOC) issued by the MC.
Now, finally waking up to the illegality and the menace, the Amritsar municipal corporation has requested PSPCL officials to abstain from issuing power connections, temporary or permanent, to owners of upcoming buildings in the city till they are issued an NOC from the MC stating the building norms have been complied with.
Municipal commissioner Pradeep Sabharwal said, "The sprouting up of these illegal buildings is a safety threat and the MC has also foregone revenue. The PSPCL has been asked not to issue any power connections to the buildings that have not been issued an NOC by the MC."
He added that the majority of these illegal edifices had been issued notices and would be proceeded against as per the provisions of the law and the procedures and guidelines for issuing the NOCs would also be tightened.
"Previously, the NOCs had been issued by the officials of the rank of a clerk without due inspection. A meeting was held in the regard on Friday and we have decided that the NOCs would only be issued by an Assistant Town Planner (ATP). This will help ensure that all the building norms are duly obeyed," he said, adding that fortnightly meetings would be held to assess whether
the NOCs were issued as per the rules or not.