Saturday, April 21, 2018
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MCdemolishes 16 buildings partially

35 buildings identified wherein construction hasn’t been stopped despite civic body notices21 Apr 2018 | 1:13 AM

AMRITSAR: A team of the building branch of the Municipal Corporation (MC), led by Commissioner Sonali Giri, conducted a major demolition drive in the city on Friday.

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Charanjit Singh Teja

Tribune News Service

Amritsar, April 20

A team of the building branch of the Municipal Corporation (MC), led by Commissioner Sonali Giri, conducted a major demolition drive in the city on Friday. As many as 16 illegal buildings were partially demolished in various parts of the city.

To keep political interference at bay, Giri took the mobile phones of MC officials and also switched off her phone. The drive started at 9 am and ended at 5 pm. The officials did not take any lunch break.

Owners of some of the buildings were seen arguing with the MC Commissioner.

The drive started from Rani Ka Bagh where a commercial building was partially demolished. Two buildings at Lawrence road and one at Majitha road were also demolished partially. The owner of the Lawrence road building had got the building plan cleared as commercial-cum-residential but the whole building was being constructed as a commercial one. The backyard area of a hotel near the Bhandari bridge was also demolished.

The MC also issued notices to showrooms of automobile companies and some under construction buildings in the residential area on the GT road near Golden Gate.

Three commercial buildings near the city centre and three shops-cum-residential buildings at Chamrang road were partially demolished. The owner of a building had the construction plan for a hospital but constructed a resort instead.

MC Commissioner Sonali Giri said, “We targeted only commercial buildings on the first day. Officials have identified around 35 buildings whose owners haven’t stopped construction even after getting MC notices. We will not tolerate any type of violation of building bylaws. Violations in residential buildings too will not be exempted. We urge residents to construct the residential and commercial buildings as per the plan passed by the MC. We will recover the money, which we have spent on the demolition, from the errants.”

Mayor Karmajit Singh Rintu said, “I have been working on the ongoing illegal buildings since I assumed the office. I have requested the MC Commissioner to lead the building branch officials so they face less problems. She worked with courage and efficiently. We demolished 16 buildings. The drive will continue. Rules are same for everyone. We will not adopt pick and choose policy.”

On the first day of the drive, MC officials did not enter the walled city. More than illagl 300 commercial buildings have been constructed in the past few days. Advocate Sarbjit Singh Verka, one of the complaints, said, “Even after clear directions of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, the construction is still going on in the walled city.”

RTI activist writes to CM

An RTI activist, Ravinder Sultanwind, has written a letter to Chief Minister Capt Amariinder Singh for action against MC officials, who allowed the violation of building bylaws in the city. “Illegal constructions have been going on in collusion with MC officials,” he said. He showed a list of 150 illegal buildings on which construction has been going on.

MCdemolishes 16 buildings partiallyThe owner of a building argues with MC Commissioner Sonali Giri as employees (right) demolish structures in Amritsar on Friday. photos: Vishal kumar
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