Is Thiruvananthapuram Corporation giving ‘licence’ to violations of building rules?
Two buildings built close to drainage canal found ignoring minimum distance stipulations; one of the structure lacks TC number or permit
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: At a time when the Local Self-Government Department has ordered door-to-door inspections to detect illegal constructions and additions done to existing structures, the Thiruvananthapuram corporation has given licences and allotted TC numbers to two buildings that were constructed in gross violation of building rules.
The buildings are located at Oottukuzhy — a stone’s throw away from the Secretariat — between Vanross Junction and Chenkalchoola. The first building was built very close to a drainage canal ignoring the minimum distance stipulated. Also, the first and second floors of the three-storey were built illegally and lack a TC number or building permit. The second building, near the first one, is also built very close to the canal, and houses a restaurant on the ground floor.
The restaurant management has covered the drain with slabs and uses it as a washing spot. Thiruvananthapuram native Sachin A G, who brought the violation to light, said he submitted complaints before the mayor, the chief minister’s office (CMO) and the Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau (VACB), but no action was taken.
“I filed a complaint with the mayor (Arya Rajendran) in January via WhatsApp. She saw the message — the ticks were blue — there was no response. I later approached the VACB, but nothing was done. When I approached the CMO, they told me they had forwarded the complaint to the corporation. After that, there has been no response,” he said.
He said the corporation helped the buildings’ owners by overlooking the rules. “The ward is in Vazhuthacaud. Hence the corporation and the ward councillor are answerable,” Sachin said.
Arya and Vazhuthacaud ward councillor Rakhi Ravikumar were not available for comments. However, corporation secretary Binu Francis said he had taken note of the issue. “We will look into the complaint and take action if there are any illegalities,” he told TNIE. In the council meeting held on Friday, when BJP councillor Karamana Ajith pointed out the irregularities, the mayor said the corporation will take action if anyone had committed malpractices.
The corporation’s town planning committee, in 2018, had proposed a set of new conditions for checking violations of building rules in new constructions and ensuring water conservation. The panel had directed the engineering wing to consider the viability of an applicant having to report the progress of construction in the initial phase to keep a tab on whether there were attempts to deviate from the original plan. But no positive step has been taken in this regard.