| An under-construction building on Ashiana-Digha Road. Telegraph picture |
Patna High Court has directed the registrar of cooperative societies to file its updated report on unauthorised commercial usage of residential purpose land in cooperative societies in the city within 15 days.
The high court has given the same time period to the state urban development and housing department to form two “building tribunals”, which will look after the cases filed against illegal building construction activities in the city.
Such directives were given by a division bench of Patna High Court comprising Justice Navin Sinha and Vikas Jain on Wednesday during the hearing of a public interest litigation (CWJC-8152/2013) filed by one Narendra Mishra against illegal mushrooming of buildings in Patna.
The court directed the registrar, cooperative societies, to form two teams for the purpose of survey of every single plot in all the residential cooperative societies in the city. Both teams would have a member from the Patna Municipal Corporation (PMC). The court said that both the teams would assess whether the plots are being utilised for the original residential purpose for which they were allotted or they have been put to for unauthorised commercial usage.
As per the court’s directives, the team members would go from door- to- door in the cooperative societies and seek maps from the owners of the houses and verify whether they have been approved properly. On the basis of the findings of the survey, the two teams would submit their technical report to PMC, based on which FIRs would be lodged against the offenders.
The court, while expressing its dissatisfaction on actions being taken by the registrar, cooperative societies, and urban development and housing department with regard to filing reports on unauthorised construction activities, also asked both the departments to avoid any unnecessary hassle to legitimate construction works.
However, the court also observed that it has come to its notice that construction activities are being done in unauthorised manner in the night hours and even with the involvement of local police station.
The court also stated that the station house officers of the concerned local police station cannot demand for maps of the buildings without the nod from the civic body.
Representatives of Patna Municipal Corporation told the court that total 1,699 vigilances cases were filed against illegal building construction activities even before the PIL was filed. “Based on the findings of the ongoing survey of buildings in the municipal limits in the city, the PMC has filed 125 new vigilance cases,” said the PMC representative.
The next hearing in the PIL has been slated for November 11.
According to PMC sources, 20 vigilance cases have been filed against illegal building construction activities in Kankerbagh circle, 38 cases in New Capital circle and 59 cases in Bankipore circle.