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SMC to crack down on illegal structures

Siliguri: The Siliguri Municipal Corporation has decided to act against building owners across Siliguri who have violated building plans and are using portions of its parking space or garage for commercial purposes without mentioning it in the original plan.

The civic body has planned to impose fines and demolish any illegal part of the building, said sources.

"The civic board will conduct raids against building owners in Siliguri who are using garage spaces illegally for commercial use like opening a shop, letting out the space for an ATM and others" said an official at the SMC.

"An initial survey has been done and several buildings where such violations have been made were found. In most cases, owners are using the garage or a portion of ground floor for commercial use. We will take stern steps against such people. After necessary warning, a fine will be imposed and if any unauthorised structure is found, it will be dismantled," the official added.

SMC sources said the decision will be placed for endorsement at the monthly board meeting of the Left-run board to be held on January 30.

"Once the decision is approved, raids will start," said a source.

Ranjan Sarkar, a Trinamul councillor and the leader of the Opposition, has criticised the board for its inaction against such illegal structures and claimed that civic body is negligent in taking steps against such irregularities. "If they were sincere about running the board, they could have taken necessary steps against such anomalies much before. We will raise questions at the next board meeting as why the building department delayed in making any move," said Sarkar.

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