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Civic body preparing list of high-rises facing fire risk

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The Hindu         18.05.2017  

Civic body preparing list of high-rises facing fire risk

Oberon Mall directed to enhance safety measures

Fire and Rescue officials have asked the management of Oberon Mall, Edappally, to enhance the safety and rescue measures at the building after a fire that broke out on the top floor of the mall on Wednesday.

The suggestions include provisions for providing proper ventilation and emergency lighting system on the top floor. At least one-third of the glass panels fixed at the external portion of the building should be replaced with glass windows, which could be opened, officials said.

Meanwhile, Mayor Soumini Jain has directed the Secretary of the Kochi Corporation to review the safety aspects of all the high-rise buildings in the corporation limits. Instructions have been issued to act against buildings which have violated safety guidelines, said a statement issued by Ms. Jain.

The service of all the building inspectors of the corporation will be used for the purpose.

A.S. Anuja, Secretary of the Kochi Corporation, said the officials had been asked to report on the safety aspects of all the high-rises in their respective areas. The officials were instructed to compile a list of buildings and identify the safety concerns, she said.

A senior functionary of the corporation said the residents and occupants of buildings, which were classified as unauthorised (UA) by the local body, were unaware of the safety hazards in the buildings they occupied.

Report sought

At a meeting called by District Collector K. Mohammed Y. Safirullah on Wednesday, he asked the Assistant Divisional Officer, Fire and Rescue Services, to submit a report on inspection of buildings within a week.


Corporation to organise adalats

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The Hindu            11.05.2017  

Corporation to organise adalats

A welfare pension adalat and birth, death and marriage adalat to be held this month

After the town planning adalat to dispose of pending building permit applications, the city Corporation is getting ready to take care of pending files in two more sections by organising adalats.

The local body will be organising a welfare pension adalat over three days and an adalat for birth, death and marriage registrations over five days.

The Corporation, on an average, gets applications for around 1,60,000 birth, death and marriage registrations every year.

Out of this around 3,000-3,500 will remain as pending cases due to various issues. Usually, when there are discrepancies or mistakes in applications, a notice is sent to the applicant.

When the applicant fails to respond, the files remain pending.

There are cases which cannot be resolved even if the applicant responds. Files from the years 2014 and 2015 will be considered for the adalat.

“There have been cases in which someone who has gone in for a second marriage, wanted to change the name of the parent in the birth certificate of their child from the first marriage. We cannot make such changes, as only the names of the biological parents can be given in the birth certificate. Then there are those rare cases where the birth has not happened in a hospital, although such cases have come down in recent years. We have to be extra careful in birth, death and marriage registrations, as there are chances of fraud happening in it. At the adalat, such doubtful cases will be rejected,” says a Corporation official. The adalat for welfare pensions is being organised to resolve issues that have cropped up recently due to which many beneficiaries who were drawing pension have stopped getting it.

The State government had, after increasing the monthly pension amount recently, organised a drive to update data of all pensioners online to avoid duplication and to prevent people from drawing more than one pension.

Out of the close to 68,000 welfare pension beneficiaries in the city Corporation, around 7,000 stopped getting pension after this.

The issue had led to minor uproars in the Corporation council meetings with the councillors from various wards saying that they have been receiving several complaints from people in their wards, about not getting pension.

These issues are expected to be sorted out in the pension adalat.

The birth, death and marriage adalat will be held on May 18, 19, 20, 30 and 31.

The welfare pension adalat will be held on May 22, 23 and 24.

Submission till May 15

Applications for the same can be submitted till 5.30 p.m. on May 15, at the Corporation main office, zonal offices or through councillors.

1.6 lakh birth, death, marriage registrations every year

7,000 stopped getting welfare pension after data update


Court slams civic bodies for cosmetic demolition in Delhi

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The Times of India         04.05.2017   

Court slams civic bodies for cosmetic demolition in Delhi

NEW DELHI: Cosmetic demolition by civic bodies came under the scrutiny of the Delhi high court on Wednesday which blamed the lack of transparency in the agencies for rampant unauthorised construction all over the city.

"In the municipal corporations, entire proceedings from inspection of reports, issuance of show-cause notices, orders passed in hearings, demolition and sealing orders etc are kept under cover of great secrecy," a bench of acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice Anu Malhotra said.

The court was shocked that more floors had been added to a building in northeast Delhi's Shahdara that was slated for demolition. It emphasised that citizens have the right to be aware of how corporations deal with their property.

"Looking from any angle, the matter of processing of application for sanction of building plans; regularisation and also putting the proceedings initiated by the building department under the Delhi Municipal Corporation Act deserves to be immediately put in public domain," the court observed.

It also directed the East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC) to answer why digitised record of entire action relating to such work "should not be posted on the website maintained by municipal authorities, of course with appropriate safeguards."

The high court said that EDMC should also explore if it can forward such information to concerned government departments including DJB, discoms and sub registrar of documents.

The court noted that due to lack of regulatory mechanism and opaque decision making by civic bodies, public has no access to information about their own property.

While hearing a petition highlighting illegal construction, the court decided to delve deeper and examine why "only after a petition in the nature of a PIL is brought, that the municipal authorities wake up to their statutory duties and law obligations."

The bench observed how "paper documentation in the nature of show-cause notice, demolition and sealing orders are being passed to create a facade of non-compliance, where under the shield of other documentations, rampant illegal and unauthorised construction is permitted to be continued."

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It asked the EDMC commissioner to file an affidavit explaining how more floors were added to the building in Shahdara without any action by the municipal corporations.

When the civic bodies claimed that police force is often not available, the court decided to test their claims and directed the concerned joint commissioner of police to place before it, details of any requests received from the EDMC to assist it in execution of demolition action.
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