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BDA to act tough on illegal land use

Bhubaneswar, Sept 13: The Bhubaneswar Development Authority (BDA) has decided to act against property owners for violating land allotment conditions and using their residential units for commercial purposes.

In a bid to send a strong message to the residents who have illegally transformed their residential units into commercial ones, the BDA has conducted a survey in the posh Jayadev Vihar to detect misuse of allotted premises.

The authority has issued public notices to all the house owners to ensure that they strictly adhere to the original norms as stipulated in land allotment conditions. Residential areas like Jaydev Vihar are witnessing corporate houses operating their offices from residential units, throwing all housing regulations to the wind.

“The houses, which were allotted to recipients for residential purposes, are being utilised for commercial purposes. While the plot owners are minting easy money from the tenants, the development authority is standing as a mute spectator and loser as the areas were given to the beneficiaries at a much lower price,” said BDA vice-chairman Deoranjan Kumar Singh.

“Under Section 91 of the Orissa Development Authorities Act, 1982, the beneficiaries of the residential plots could lose their allotment if they are found to be using the plots for commercial purposes. However, we have communicated every individual allottee through letters. We have also published advertisements in newspapers in this regard. We are giving them enough time to act on the issue. If they fail to take appropriate action, we will take drastic steps to curb this trend,” he added.

“The survey of the Jaydev Vihar area, our prime housing project in Bhubaneswar, showed that 51 plots were allotted for residential purposes. But it is now seen that 24 allottees are using their premises for commercial purposes. We have even issued a second notice to the allottees and requested them to act on this immediately,’’ he added.

Apart from the allotment violation, as per the data available with the enforcement department of the BDA relating to Jaydev Vihar, there are 43 cases of violations where the original construction plan had been tampered with.

“In our department, we assess the violations as per the reports of our staff and file cases in our legal section where an officer on special duty settles them. If the landowners do not comply with the norms, we go to demolish the premises with our squad. However, the enforcement activity cannot function effectively as there is no proper squad to deploy for the BDA,’’ said an officer.

The BDA vice-chairman admitted that the enforcement wing cannot function effectively without the support of a designated police force. He said that a police officer should be posted for the BDA for effective enforcement.

On use of residential plots as commercial properties, he said, “either the law should provide some scope or there should be an amendment. But as long as there is no change in the laws, we have to strictly implement the current provisions.”

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