Illegal construction in areas under the jurisdiction of the Patiala Municipal Corporation has put the authorities under scanner after a vigilance team of the local bodies department conducted a raid on its premises on Tuesday.
The vigilance team looked into the record of the building department and minutely examined the files of the building, which were allegedly constructed illegally.
The team also visited different areas to carry an on-the -spot survey in order to make check if the construction of the building was as per provisions allowed by the civic body. The team visited 16 such buildings and photographed the construction area.
Reports pertaining to rampant illegal construction mainly done during the period when the model code of conduct for the elections was in force, were pouring in since the parliamentary elections concluded last month.
Importantly, these illegal constructions have been done in main market area at the behest of certain influential politicians and senior officials of the civic body.
As per the tentative record, 28 illegal constructions have been done during the elections months, which are under scanner of the local bodies department.
Meanwhile, during his recent visit on May 27, the secretary, local bodies, Ashok Gupta has sought detailed report regarding illegal construction done on commercial and residential plots within three days.
However, with the transfers of MC commissioner Parminder Singh Gill, the report could not be submitted.
A three-member team collected detailed information from officials of building branch, including senior town planner SS Bhatia, besides getting briefs from other employees regarding constructions under scanner.
Sources in the corporation revealed that inspection team members also pulled up the officials after they failed to produce files of the illegal buildings, which needed to be inspected.
As per available information, illegal construction had been done mainly in form of commercial establishments in prime locations in the past three months.
Beside multi-storey construction on the Bhupindera road, illegal construction outside the AC market, Sher-e-Punjab market, the Tripuri area, the sirhind road and Adalat bazaar was done right under the nose of officials and political leaders.
The elections had proved a boon for the owners of these illegal buildings as they managed to carry out construction, the maps for which were not cleared by department concerned in the past two years.
Chief vigilance officer Anil Kumar Kansal said they had collected the records and action will be taken against the defaulters after scrutiny of the documents.
“We will submit a report in which proper noting will be mentioned. It is the local bodies department which will take finals call on it,” he said.
OFFICIALS OF BUILDING BRANCH UNDER SCANNER
Several councillors of the BJP had apprised the secretary, local bodies, of the involvement of certain officials of the building department in allowing illegal constructions. Besides lackadaisical attitude of building inspectors in checking this, Importantly, the building department of the PMC has turned into a white elephant as it only managed o generate income of Rs. 7.17 crore till February 28 against the set target of Rs. 14 crore. However, XEN Harkiranpal Singh, who was given additional charge of municipal town planner, was relieved a day after the secretary sought report in illegal construction matter. The timing of relieving him raised eyebrows.