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Boss away, buildings under lens

The holiday fever in government offices in the last week of the year is unlikely to help the under-construction buildings under Patna Municipal Corporation’s scanner.

Patna municipal commissioner Kuldip Narayan has gone on leave for 10 days but he has ensured that no unlawful construction takes place in Patna in his absence. He has instructed the executive officers of all four circles of Patna Municipal Corporation (PMC) to continuously photograph the buildings facing vigilance cases using GPS-based cameras throughout the week.

Instructions have also been given to lodge FIRs against those buildings, where construction goes on in spite of vigilance cases.

“Vigilance cases have been initiated against around 225 buildings across the city at the court of the municipal commissioner. It is through a letter (dated December 22), the commissioner has asked all four executive officers to get the list of all such buildings in their circle and keep taking photographs of the buildings in the last week of December. The commissioner has also asked the vigilance officer to send a copy of the list of buildings facing vigilance cases to inspectors at all the related police stations through the office of superintendent of police, Patna, so that action is initiated if construction work goes on in a clandestine manner,” said a senior PMC officer.

Commissioner Narayan is on leave from December 23 to January 2. Additional municipal commissioner Radha Mohan Prasad would be the in-charge of looking after the routine works at the civic body during the period.

Acting on the directives of Patna High Court, the PMC had carried out inspection of under-construction buildings across the city by its engineers. Based on the reports submitted by the engineers, vigilance cases were initiated on those buildings suspected of being constructed in violation of building byelaws of the erstwhile Patna Regional Development Authority.

A large number of defendants had not turned up at the mass hearings of the vigilance cases held on November 16 and 20 and December 7. Consequently, the municipal commissioner issued a public notice on the day of leaving office (December 22) that those who did not turn up for the hearing of the vigilance cases, despite being informed for the same, were being given the last opportunity to turn up for the same on January 16, 2014. Sources said if the builder or landowner concerned do not turn up for the final hearing, orders in the cases would be given based on the available records and evidence.

The PMC has prohibited water supply, drainage, electricity connection and the occupation of any dwelling units in the under-construction buildings facing vigilance cases.

“The occupation certificate is not to be issued for buildings facing vigilance cases under Section 327 of Bihar Municipal Act. If any violation of such norms is identified, the builder as well as the landowner would be liable for legal action according to Section 399 of the Municipal Act,” said the officer.

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