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Illegal constructions: Punjab local bodies dept asks Ludhiana MC for report on building plans

Hindustan Times, Ludhiana | By HT Correspondent, Ludhiana
UPDATED ON AUG 27, 2020 12:09 AM IST

The Punjab local bodies department has directed the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation (MC) to submit a report regarding the number of building plans approved by it from April 1, 2019 to May 31, 2020, as soon as possible.

This comes after the state vigilance department in July had asked the additional chief secretary (ACS) of the local bodies department to conduct an inquiry into the alleged illegal constructions by comparing the number of new electricity connections issued by the Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) with the number of building plans approved.

In June, RTI activist Rohit Sabharwal had written to the vigilance department, seeking action against the officials involved in the matter.

Sabharwal had alleged that around 25,000 connections were approved by PSPCL within MC limits, but only around 8,000 building plans were approved by MC in this period.

Sabharwal had alleged that the building branch officials failed to take action against illegal buildings due to “gratification or protection money” given by the owners, thereby causing a loss of crores to the public exchequer.

MC had also commenced a similar exercise in February this year, when it was reportedly found that PSPCL had issued around 1 lakh power connections in the last three years, while MC had approved just around 5,000 building plans. But, the exercise remained on paper, with no action against the officials concerned.

Recently, two municipal town planners (MTP) were also asked to assist MC additional commissioner Rishipal Singh in this inquiry.

Singh said an inquiry was already underway and he had sought the details regarding building plans approved by the building branch in the respective period, but the details were awaited.

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