CHENNAI: Realty firm Emaar MGF, which was under the CBI scanner for construction of Commonwealth Games Village in New Delhi, is now facing fresh trouble from Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority (CMDA) for construction of seven additional blocks to the multi-storied building in Tondiarpet.
CMDA sources told Express that Emaar MGF has been served lock and seal and demolition notice for deviating from the approved plan with regard to size, location, spacing and removal of some of the columns that was akin to the Moulivakkam building that collapsed leading to the death of more than 61 people.
All these violations were allegedly resorted to by Emaar MGF during the course of the construction of seven additional blocks to the multi-storied building on Vaidyanatha Mudalali Street in Tondiarpet.
A Emaar MGF official confirmed receiving the lock and seal notice on July 11, but refused to reveal the next course of action. The CMDA had already given approval for constructing three blocks comprising 13, 2 and 3 flats respectively. Accordingly, the constructions were completed and the partial completion certificates too were obtained from the enforcement cell of the CMDA.
However, it was the controversy surrounding the permission for additional construction of seven multi-storied building blocks comprising stilt plus seven floors which put Emaar into trouble.
Incidentally, the plan to add seven blocks was already opposed by one Anthony Clifford , who claims to be the co-owner of the property along with Emaar MGF. His complaint petition was forwarded by CBI to the Housing and Urban Development department in 2011.
His contention was that 536 flat owners, including himself, had not given their consent for changing the planning permit. But CMDA retorted by asserting that Clifford is only an agreement holder for sale and construction of the building on the site. In the petition, Clifford has alleged that Emaar MGF is trying to tide over the loss it suffered in the Commonwealth Games by selling the land already sold to persons like him so that it can “make good crores of rupees which have become payable to the New Delhi government.”
He has alleged that Emaar MGF has tried similar strategy to change the agreement in Andhra Pradesh where it is currently facing a probe.
Surprisingly, CMDA processed the revised planning application and even forwarded the same to the government for approval in 2011 despite a petition stating that the issue is pending before the High Court. It is learnt that CMDA defended its stance saying that it is not a party to the dispute between the builder and owners’ association and as such the file was processed and planning permission issued.
Interestingly, three years later, Emaar renewed the planning permission for additional construction of seven blocks on April 2014.
But the site inspection on July 3 and 4, 2014 objected to the seven blocks stating that some columns were removed as in the case of Moulivakkam building that led to avoidable deaths.