Civic lens on city buildings

The capital's civic guardians are planning to seal residential apartments and commercial structures that are being used without proper occupancy certificates in a bid to check rampant violation of building laws.

By RAJ KUMAR in Ranchi
  • Published 29.03.15
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Ranchi, March 28: The capital's civic guardians are planning to seal residential apartments and commercial structures that are being used without proper occupancy certificates in a bid to check rampant violation of building laws.

Ranchi Municipal Corporation (RMC) has directed owners of all buildings in its command areas to apply for occupancy certificates at the earliest. The applications should be submitted to the civic body in a prescribed format, along with completion certificates from the engineers who have constructed the buildings.

The directive, issued in the form of a public notice in newspapers today, warns owners of punitive action if they did not comply and talks of a special drive to crack down on buildings without occupancy certificate.

Municipal commissioner Prashant Kumar said the notice had been issued in the wake of rampant violation of building norms. "There are hardly 10 buildings in the entire city that have applied for and received occupancy certificates from the RMC. Rules say without the occupancy certificate, a building cannot seek power and water supply connections," he added.

An engineer or an architect prepares a building plan and submits it to the civic body for approval before undertaking the construction work. The occupancy certificate suggests that the building, irrespective of its size, height and nature, has been constructed according to the approved plan.

"It means that the civic authorities are convinced that there has been no deviation from the building plan approved by the RMC," he added.

After the construction, the engineer or the architect deputed by the builder is supposed to write a completion certificate. Based on that, the builder must apply for an occupancy certificate from the RMC. Civic officials then conduct an inspection to confirm that there is no deviation from the building plan. "Any violation would mean no occupancy certificate," the municipal commissioner said.

But does RMC have enough manpower to execute this mammoth task? "As soon as one applies for an occupancy certificate, we will start the process. It is a mandatory procedure and cannot be ignored," Kumar claimed.

Civic officials claimed no data was available on the exact number of buildings that were being used without valid certificates. "If a crackdown is launched, hundreds of buildings will be found to be constructed in violation of approved plans," said a senior RMC official.

Director of Feacon Construction and Industries Pvt Ltd Kumud Jha welcomed the move. "If done in a time-bound manner, it will go a long way in promoting fair play in the fast growing realty sector."