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regular-article-logo Wednesday, 19 June 2024

HC order to 'illegal' buildings owners: To furnish all property-related documents to BMC

The BMC will have to submit a report to the court within June 10 after verifying the documents

Tapas Ghosh, Snehal Sengupta Calcutta Published 10.05.24, 06:10 AM
Representational image

Representational image File image

The high court on Thursday directed the owners of more than 300 allegedly illegal buildings in wards 35 and 36 of the Bidhannagar Municipal Corporation (BMC) to furnish all property-related documents to the civic body.

The BMC will have to submit a report to the court within June 10 after verifying the documents.

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“In these two wards, namely wards 35 and 36, the problem is peculiar and there are many unauthorised and illegal buildings. In that view, we are constrained to remand the matter back to the commissioner of the Bidhannagar Municipal Corporation whether the occupiers of the buildings have any valid document to establish their right over the land in question. If that is established, then the authority should consider whether they can be permitted to apply for a building plan,” Chief Justice T.S. Sivagnanam said in open court.

The division bench of Chief Justice Sivagnanam and Justice Hiranmoy Bhattacharyya ordered the civic body to submit a final list of such structures to the court by June 10.

The chief justice said the BMC commissioner should issue a fresh notice to the occupiers of such buildings to submit any documents that they have regarding the land as well as photographs of the buildings to the corporation.

The court also came down on BMC officials and councillors while hearing two writ petitions, filed by former mayor and current chairman Sabyasachi Dutta and a resident of Sukantanagar, Sumon Das, regarding rampant illegal construction in wards 35
and 36.

The high court said it was unlikely that these unauthorised buildings came up without the knowledge of the civic body and the people’s representatives.

BMC counsel Shirsanya Bandyopadhay tried to tell the court that the civic body had issued 313 vacating orders to the occupiers of the buildings so the civic body could demolish them.

“The corporation had undertaken three attempts to raze the structures. However, the civic teams met with stiff resistance from local residents who used women to form human shields. A demolition drive was supposed to take place this month but police have said they cannot provide necessary assistance because of the ongoing Lok Sabha elections,” Bandyopadhyay told the court.

Advocate Billwadal Bhattacharya, who represented Sumon Das, told the court that developers/owners of none of the buildings had submitted building plans to the BMC before erecting the structures.

Wards 35 and 36 are in close proximity to wetlands.

This newspaper reported in March that the BMC had started a survey to identify such buildings in the area.

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