Four labourers were injured after a roof of an illegal under-construction building collapsed in Patiala on June 3. HT file
Four labourers were injured after a roof of an illegal under-construction building collapsed in Patiala on June 3. HT file

Roof collapse: Patiala MC to tighten noose around builders

The civic body has planned to hold special drive to identify such units in commercial areas so that stringent action, including demolition drives, could be undertaken
PUBLISHED ON JUN 07, 2021 12:28 AM IST

Four days after four labourers were injured after a roof of an illegal under-construction building collapsed, the Patiala municipal corporation has decided to tighten noose around builders.

The civic body has planned to hold special drive to identify such units in commercial areas so that stringent action, including demolition drives, could be undertaken.

On June 3, roof of a 500 square yard building, being constructed illegally, collapsed near the Sanauri Adda area.

Of every 10 complaints received by the MC, seven pertain to building bylaws violation. The corporation has issued notices to at least 700 defaulters since 2014.

Patiala MC commissioner Punamdeep Kaur said a special team of the building department has been constituted, which has been tasked to carry out a survey to identify illegal buildings so that action can be taken against builders.

Building bylaws prove ineffective

To check the mushrooming of unauthorised buildings under urban local bodies (ULB) limits, the Punjab local government department had introduced new building bylaws in December 2018. But these by-laws have turned out to be ineffective with rampant violations being reported.

The new rules state that in the case of unauthorised development, the authority shall take suitable action, which may include demolition of unauthorised works, sealing of premises, prosecution and criminal proceedings against the offender.

OTS scheme on hold

With the Punjab local government department putting the implementation of one-time settlement (OTS) of non-compoundable violations in unauthorised construction on hold for over a year-and-half now, violations continue unabated.

Under the policy, illegal buildings that sprung up in the state before June 30, 2018, were to be regularised. The policy was conceptualised during the tenure of former local bodies minister Navjot Singh Sidhu, but was put in cold storage after Brahm Mohindra took charge in June 2019. Mohindra then termed the policy faulty and asked officials to revise it before re-implementing it.

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