Biz glare on housing societies
Ranchi: The state co-operative department and state housing board are planning to crack down on several residential neighbourhoods here that are hosting commercial establishments in gross violation of the Jharkhand Co-operative Societies (Amendment) Act, 2015.
Last week, a four-member team headed by the joint registrar (co-operative societies) had identified 130 businesses that have fraudulently obtained corporation permit to operate from Ashok Nagar. The RMC has already revoked 50-plus trade licences.
The focus has now shifted to other elite neighbourhoods such as Harmu Housing Colony and Argora Housing Colony, which are situated some half a kilometre from Ashok Nagar and together have around 2,000 dwellings on plots distributed by the Jharkhand State Housing Board for strictly residential purposes.
However, at least 130 of these houses host commercial establishments such as inns, eateries, playschools, stationery stores and grocery shops, among others.
Businesses are also run from around 150 out of 800 homes in new and old AG Co-operative Colony. Bariatu Housing Colony, which has around 300 residences, may also come under the scanner.
An employee of Ranchi district co-operative office said using residential premises for commercial purposes was a punishable offence under the Act.
"After Ashok Nagar, officials are planning action against other housing colonies. The rule is equal for all even though many of these places have BJP supporters. A survey of all residential areas hosting businesses will be done soon," he said.
An official of Jharkhand State Housing Board echoed him.
"Showcause notices have been issued in the past, but few residents have replied. In such a situation, a crackdown may start any day if there is no political inference," he said.
Registrar (co-operative societies) Shravan Soy said any neighbourhood violating bylaws would be taken to task. "If a colony is registered as a housing society, it cannot carry out business activities," Soy said.
Estate officer-cum-chief engineer of Jharkhand State Housing Board Neelmani Tirkey, however, said they had set the ball rolling to legalise some of these unauthorised businesses. "We have sent a proposal to the urban development department. We have sought permission to allow use of residential buildings for commerce, but only after charging a one-time fee," he added.