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Urban Encroachment

Survey storm-water drains before taking up clearance drive: Mayor

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The Hindu        17.08.2017  

Survey storm-water drains before taking up clearance drive: Mayor

Congress councillor Ganesh Tagargunti raising a point during the monthly council meeting of Hubballi Dharwad Municipal Corporation in Hubballi on Wednesday.Kiran Bakale  

‘Authorities being partisan’ rocks Hubballi-Dharwad Municipal Council meeting

Allegations of authorities being partisan while clearing encroachments over storm-water drains and parks rocked the municipal council meeting here on Wednesday with some disgruntled Congress councillors upset with the municipal commissioner, using the opportunity to make a veiled attack on him.

After the issue was raised by Congress councillor Ganesh Tagargunti, who has been vocal in his criticism of municipal commissioner Major Siddalingayya Hiremath, several other Congress councillors joined him in accusing the authorities of being selective in their drive against encroachments.

However, the prolonged discussion on the issue ultimately ended with a resolution directing the commissioner to clear to all encroachments without any leniency.

During the discussion on the calling attention motion moved by Mr. Tagargunti, the officials failed to provide proper information on the clearance drive and sought time, which angered the councillors. An official of the Town Planning Department clarified that they had no records related to storm-water drains as they were with the Revenue Department.

His reply angered the Congress councillors further, who were waiting to target the municipal commissioner for his recent bold step of demolishing a structure being built by a government department for which the local MLA had performed bhoomi puja. They pointed out that no action had been taken up to clear structures that had come up encroaching upon the storm-water drains. Mr. Tagargunti sought to know how the commissioner was kept in the dark until the construction of the illegal structure was completed up to the ceiling level. He also questioned Mayor D.K. Chavan giving a requisition for construction of a structure on land meant for a park. Although the Mayor admitted his mistake, he said that the corporation never gave permission for the construction.

Responding to the allegations, Major Hiremath clarified that since the department concerned had gone ahead with the construction despite several warnings by the corporation, they were left with no option other than demolishing it as the structure was being built in violation of rules.

The council subsequently discussed the issue of encroachments over storm-water drains and gardens. And ultimately Mr. Chavan issued a ruling directing the officials to conduct survey of storm-water drains with the help of officials of the Department of Survey and Land Records before taking up the clearance drive.


GHMC resorts to geotagging of government lands to curb encroachments

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The New Indian Express          20.05.2017  

GHMC resorts to geotagging of government lands to curb encroachments

By S Bachan Jeet Singh  |  Express News Service  |   Published: 20th May 2017 05:51 AM  |  

Last Updated: 20th May 2017 05:51 AM  |   A+A-   |  

HYDERABAD: The Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) has drawn plans to keep a check against unscrupulous elements applying for building permissions online on encroached government lands with the help of geotagging.

The move is designed to protect water bodies and lands related to endowment, Wakf and urban land ceiling. GHMC will geotag the details of all the government lands in the twin cities with the help of Hyderabad district administration to have a clear idea about the ownership of the lands under GHMC. Rangareddy and Medchal districts have already geotagged all revenue land records data pertaining to their districts.

The main idea is that if persons, who apply for building permission online for government lands or in Full Tank Level (FTL) of water bodies, they can be caught when he files the survey numbers.

If the survey number matches with that of government land data geotagged in the system, they will get rejected. Geotagging would put an end to manual applications and having to attend offices. GHMC said that the move would stop land sharks. Land sharks would submit fake documents and bribes to town planning section had obtained building permissions on  government lands.

Since Oct 2016, GHMC has stopped accepting manual applications both for buildings and has put in place Online Building Approval System (DPMS). But separate data on lands concerned has not been uploaded or geotagged in the DPMS online system as it does not have properdata. Survey numbers are being sought from the district administration. 


BMC’s nightmare: 500 creaky buildings

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The Times of India       12.05.2017  

BMC’s nightmare: 500 creaky buildings

At 113, Kurla has the most number of ‘extremely dilapidated’ buildings in the city. Despite being declared ‘extremely dilapidated’, they will not be razed soon.


At 113, Kurla has the most number of ‘extremely dilapidated’ buildings in the city. Despite being declared ‘ex... Read More
Nearly 500 buildings that are beyond repairs are proving to be a major worry for the BMC ahead of the monsoon. Despite declaring them unfit for habitation, the civic body is struggling to get them vacated owing to court cases, protests and other technical issues.

Rickety buildings pose great danger not only to those living in them, but also to structures in the vicinity, particularly during rains.

According to a report by the BMC's anti-encroachment department, Mumbai had 816 'extremely dilapidated' buildings as on April 27, 2017, with Kurla topping the list at 113, followed by Ghatkopar (80) and Wadala/Matunga (77).

So far, the corporation has been able to demolish 196 structures and vacate 134. This leaves 486 crumbling buildings escaping the BMC hammers before the rains. Despite the potential risks, officials say, residents in many cases refuse to move out.

"In some cases, residents have managed to get a stay from the court, while in a few cases the BMC's technical advisory committee is yet to take a call," said a senior civic official. The technical committee proceedings involves hearing both parties over multiple sessions and is a timeconsuming process like the judiciary, he said.

The civic body puts buildings that have fallen into disrepair in three categories - C1, C2 and C3. Structures that can be repaired to stand for next few years are marked as C3; those in need of extensive structural help are put in C2 category.

Buildings that are beyond repairs and need to be razed immediately get the C1tag. The civic body issues notices to residents in such structures asking them to vacate the premises. If they follow the order, water and power supply is disconnected.

The BMC plans to pull down 134 vacated buildings by May 31. Officials said they are awaiting verdict from the technical committee in 21cases.

"Demolition of dilapidated buildings is a complicated process. We are taking continuous follow-up with ward officials to ensure the deadline is met," said Ranjeet Dhakne, deputy municipal commissioner (removal of encroachment).

There are 18 vacated buildings that cannot be demolished as there is a stay order from the court, he said.


Defining 'dilapidated'

BMC ward offices carry out routine visual inspections of building within their limits. If they suspect a structure is weak, they carry out structural strength tests to ascertain the condition. Depending on the outcome, BMC issues a notice to the residents and asks them to carry out repairs or redevelopment. If the residents are not satisfied with the BMC notice, they can undertake a structural audit of their own.

If there is a mismatch in the audit reports, the matter is referred to the technical advisory committee. In many cases, residents appeal the decision of the committee in court.

If residents continue to occupy a dilapidated building despite rejection at all levels, the BMC disconnects their water and electric supply. This is followed by an evacuation drive led by the police and demolition. 

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