Expressing deep anguish over delay of over a decade in acting against 1,137 buildings flouting norms in Besa-Beltarodi area, despite its specific orders in 2010, the Nagpur bench of Bombay High Court on March 11 sternly directed the collector to submit a detailed action taken report.
A division bench comprising Justices Sunil Shukre and Avinash Gharote told the collector to provide details of builders involved in the violations and also names of civic officials who failed to act against the illegal structures. While adjourning the hearing for four weeks, the collector was asked to complete formalities before next date.
The directives came while hearing a plea by social activist Anil Wadpalliwar through Counsel Shreerang Bhandarkar alleging rampant violations of basic rules and regulations by hundreds of high-rise buildings and townships in Besa-Beltarodi. According to him, even Development Control Regulations (DCR) was not followed and there was massive violation of Floor Space Index (FSI) by greedy builders.
Earlier, Bhandarkar had filed a civil application citing HC order of January 27, 2010, where the collector was directed to start survey of all buildings and other constructions in Besa-Beltarodi and report on whether those are built as per the norms.
He was also directed to examine whether those structures had permission from the competent authority and, if not, to stop their construction.
He was further told to issue notices to all such buildings and conduct a thorough inspection, either himself or though an officer not below the rank of a deputy collector. All these directives were issued by then division bench comprising Justices Sharad Bobde (now, Chief Justice of India) and Vasanti Naik.
At the same time, the petitioner was allowed to add other areas where the city is growing like Hudkeshwar and Wanadongri, along with Kamptee, Wardha, Koradi and Bhandara Road. Subsequently, the collector constituted a panel of senior officials from his office, who submitted a report to him after inspecting all buildings.
The collector in his affidavit of October 27, 2010, through then government pleader Nitin Sambre (now HC judge) came out with shocking revelation that as many as 1,460 constructions, including high-rise buildings and townships in Besa-Beltarodi, were in complete contravention of rules and regulations due to ignorance of concerned authorities.
In his latest application, Bhandarkar pointed out that no action has been taken till date by the respondents to remove or regulate illegal constructions, which has led to massive problems in the locality. The buildings also pose a big threat to life and security of the residents. While attaching several media report of blatant violations, he contended that none of the authorities had taken care to submit any report for over 10 years since 2010 in HC, and also failed to reply on similar structures in other fast growing areas on city's outskirts.
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