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Silver Oak Apartment row: Builder made deviations from original plan

punjab Updated: Dec 12, 2014 22:17 IST
Ravinder Vasudeva

Even as the police are yet to arrest a leading builder and his son who were booked for fraud on the complaint of Silver Oak Apartments residents recently, more discrepancies have came to the fore in the case with the civic body having passed unauthorised deviations in the original plan.

A case was registered against Anil Chopra, the builder and the owner of St Soldier Group of Institutes, and his son Rajan Chopra on December 5.

The government documents the apartment owners procured which they shared with the media on Friday reveal that about half of the site plan approved by the civic body on December 9, 2002, had not been adhered to by the builder.

A big chunk of the land measuring 15,000 square feet that was approved for parking of block B and C has allegedly been sold by the builder by converting it into large separate market having more than 50 shops.

As per the Municipal Corporation Act, selling residential areas for commercial purpose is in blatant violation of rules.

In 2001, the Chopras purchased over 35 kanals of land in an auction from the Punjab Financial Corporation (PFC), falling under khasras 1299 (14 kanal 2 marla), 1376 (10 kanal 15 marla), 3278/1368 (9 kana l2 marla), 3281/1372 and 1376 (1 kanal 11 marla 72 square feet) vide registration number 840 on situated on Nakodar Road. Of this, they planned to develop residential apartments on 26.25 kanals of land.

The documents reveal that though the accused builder got approved the plan from the civic body having registry of around 11 kanals of land (almost one third), the building branch approved the site map for the project.

When applying for the project, the builder also submitted an affidavit with the municipal corporation on November 26, 2002 saying he is constructing the apartments on 26.25 kanals of land.

In another violation, the builder also made two apartments in the ground floor of block –C and sold them whereas as per original building plan this was nowhere in the site.

This was approved by the then assistant town planner, Amrik Singh. The site plan for the apartments was passed by the municipal corporation on December 9, 2002.

‘I’m being framed’

Chopra, the accused builder, said he was being framed in the entire case without any reason as he has already challenged the PFC move to acquire the land in court.

“I am fighting the case for this land for many years. I even won a case in a local court in 2006 but PFC did not allow me to register this land on my name. I have even filled contempt of court against the PFC,” said Chopra.

On the allegation of using parking space for commercial purpose, Chopra said it were not shops but garages that the flat owners can purchase from him.

“Since no one purchased it I decided to sell it. Even registries of these shops have been done for garages only,” he said.

The case

The Silver Oak Residents Welfare Society alleged that the builder duped them by selling flats from 2002 to 2004 stating that it was his land.

“We have been living in these flats for 10 years. In December last year, we were left high and dry when some PFC officials came from Chandigarh and told us that the land measuring 6.7 canals out of 35.7 canals actually belonged to the corporation,” the complaint says.

The residents also alleged that the PFC had issued notices to sell the land where 24 flats are situated of a total of 72 flats.