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Civic body seals illegal building

The vigilance cell officials of Patna Municipal Corporation on Monday sealed a six-storeyed commercial building under construction on a residential plot at Sri Krishna Puri, violating the norms of the civic body.

The building owned by Devanshu Banerjee and Aarti Banerjee was sealed on two grounds. First, it was a commercial construction on a residential site. Second, the corporation had approved only four floors of the building.

Sources said the erstwhile Patna Regional Development Authority (PRDA) had allotted the land to the Banerjees in the 1960s on 99-year lease for residential use.

Harishankar Prasad Kushwaha, one of the vigilance cell officials of the corporation who sealed the building, said: “One of the major violations in this case was commercial construction on the land earmarked for residential purpose. Also, according to the map, its four floors were only approved. But the building already had six floors and one more was to be added. Besides, the owner had not acquired the no-objection certificate from PMC — mandatory for any departure from the approved map.”

A case regarding violation of building bylaws was registered with the vigilance cell of the corporation regarding this case last year. “The cell issued an order to seal the structure on Saturday, which we implemented today (Monday),” said Kushwaha.

“Initially, we had decided to demolish the two additional floors of this building. The corporation had also thought of using the building for official purpose, which we do in such cases. But we can’t implement our plans because we learnt today (Monday) the owners have lodged a case in Patna High Court. Now, we would have to wait for the court orders for any further action.”ť

According to sources, the corporation officials spotted several commercial constructions on residential plots in Sri Krishna Puri and other localities. The PRDA had allotted residential plots to the people at Sri Krishna Puri, Sri Krishna Nagar, Rajendra Nagar and the Boring Road area in the 1960s on lease for 99 years. But hundreds of shops, banks, private companies, schools, nursing homes and even government offices have come up in those areas over the past two decades.

Kushwaha admitted that the corporation had to roll back its initiatives in several such cases because of resistance from the people. “When we had asked last year the proprietors of commercial establishments on residential plots in Sri Krishna Puri to demolish their structures on their own or the corporation would bring them down, we had to face resistance from the MLA of the area. He staged protests with the violators and we (PMC officials) had to take back our decision. We could not do anything because the MLA was staging protests continuously. The corporation does not have enough manpower to take proper action in these cases,” added Kushwaha.

The PMC had asked the owners of the unauthorised commercial structures (which had come up on residential plots) to either shut down or face bulldozers within 72 hours in July last year. A public notice was also uploaded on the website of Patna Municipal Corporation www.patnanagarnigam.in, asking people not to venture in commercial projects in Patliputra Colony, Sri Krishna Puri, Sri Krishna Nagar and Rajendra Nagar — developed for residential purpose only.