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Court glare on civic agencies

Ranchi, Dec. 6: Jharkhand High Court today asked the state government to intervene and redefine the area of operation of of Ranchi Regional Development Authority (RRDA) and Ranchi Municipal Corporation (RMC) regarding the sanction of maps to construct buildings.

A division bench comprising Chief Justice Bhagwati Prasad and Justice Prashant Kumar, while hearing a public interest litigation (PIL), said the government should control illegal mushrooming of apartments in the capital.

The high court was pitted in a unique case where the RMC had rejected the plan for construction of Patliputra Heritage Apartment at Tupudana, which was earlier granted a nod by the RRDA.

The high court observed that it seemed that the RRDA and RMC were at loggerheads, which was detrimental to the interests of the state.

The bench also observed that the two civic bodies needed to be disciplined.

One Babban Choubey had filed the PIL, informing the court that the plan for the Patliputra Heritage Apartment was granted by the RRDA, which was subsequently rejected by the corporation.

The RMC rejected the plan on the grounds that the building was planned on agricultural land, and no commercial construction could be allowed on the plot. Choubey also added that the apartment under construction would disturb existing residents of the area.

However, since the plan for the building was earlier approved by the RRDA, the developer continued to construct the building.

The court, while hearing the petition, asked the state government, originally not a party to the case, to intervene and settle the dispute between the RRDA and RMC with regard to the sanction of maps for proposed buildings constructed within the state capital.

Choubey said earlier RRDA had also refused sanction construction plan of the building. However, later it approved the plan in contravention to its earlier decision without offering any valid reasons.

The plan was later rejected by the RMC.

The RRDA was the only body authorised to sanction plans for construction of new buildings in the capital.

The state cabinet, however, changed the rule and empowered the RMC to approve building plans in 2009 to meet one of the preconditions of getting funds under Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission scheme.

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