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Accounts / Audit

Civic chief to order probe into water connection irregularities

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The Hindu         01.12.2014 

Civic chief to order probe into water connection irregularities

Certain councillors of the Villupuram Municipality on Sunday alleged irregularities in providing water connections to the households in the town.

Responding to the allegation, Municipal Chairman Bhaskaran said that he would soon constitute an official team to look into the issue and based on the outcome of the enquiry, he would take appropriate action.

The councillors also stated that the electric crematorium in the town was now under the control of the social service organisation (Rotary Club) which was charging Rs 500 extra, over and above the charges prescribed by the council.

Lapses pointed out

The chairman said that the officials would look into the issue and take appropriate remedial measure. The councillors also pinpointed many lapses on the part of the local body such as inadequate and improper drainage facilities and scant regard for putting up rain water harvesting system.

They pointed out that the Thiru Vi.Ka Road was bursting at the seams owing to burgeoning vehicular population. This stretch was posing immense problem to the commuters and therefore the councillors sought urgent action to decongest the road and ease the traffic flow.

The councillors also noted that the ground water level had depleted to such a low that the borewells had gone dry and the prospects of divining water were almost nil. Only through rejuvenating the aquifer, the trend could be reversed, they said.

The Chairman said that solutions would be found to all these civic problems.

Last Updated on Monday, 01 December 2014 12:04

3 years after getting notices, 243 illegal Coimbatore buildings still in use

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The Times of India       20.11.2014  

3 years after getting notices, 243 illegal Coimbatore buildings still in use


COIMBATORE: Three years after they were sent notices for not having mandatory approval documents, 243 illegal buildings in the city continue to be in use and no action has been taken by the local planning authority.

In February 2011, the local planning authority (LPA) identified 177 educational institutions and 107 residential and commercial buildings in the city that were constructed without mandatory building approval documents. The list includes hospitals, banks, industries, colleges and schools. Many well-known residential complexes in the city remain unapproved, said a senior LPA official. The building owners neither responded to the notices nor did LPA officials take further action. Buildings over 4000 sq ft within the city limits have to get approval from LPA.

LPA is in the midst of a drive to identify buildings with deviations from the approved plan and will be issuing notices to 47 gated communities and group development projects in the city within a week. The drive comes in the wake of building collapse in Chennai in June in which 61 workers died.

LPA authorities said most plans they receive are rejected. "Of the 30 to 40 plans that reach us every month, only five or six get approval, but many builders go ahead with the projects, paying scant regard to LPA rules and approval," said an official. Every inspection reveals at least five unapproved buildings, the source added.

Of the showcause notices issued to 284 buildings in 2011, 27 buildings owners applied for approval and 15 had submitted building proposals. Eight buildings were constructed on agricultural land without getting land conversion documents from district collector and directorate of town and country planning (DTCP). According to a government order in January 2011, the district collector has to visit the spot and submit a report to the DTCP office, which takes a decision.

The primary defaulters were found to be educational institutions, which usually do not pay the one-time infrastructure and amenities fee that is fixed at Rs 285 a sqm. "Since most college campuses are over 1 lakh sq ft, the fee is quite high and they do not pay it and get approval," said an official. The colleges apply to All India Council for Technical Education or Medical Council of India for conditional operation, stating they would get building approval soon.

DTCP officials said strict action is not taken against colleges as students' education is at stake. "If we seal colleges, where will the students go?" said the official.

LPA officials say they have not taken action because they do not have enough staff. "For such a big city, we have only 24 staff in the office. There is no separate eviction or inspection wing. We do as much we can," said C Mathivanan, member secretary, LPA, Coimbatore. "People should check the documents thoroughly before buying property."

Builders suggested computerization of the process. "LPA should approve building plans online to reduce delays and make the system transparent," said a builder. 


Amma canteens: Mayor rules out irregularities

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The Hindu       20.11.2014 

Amma canteens: Mayor rules out irregularities

Mayor P. Rajkumar, who inspected Amma canteen on Wednesday, ruled out irregularities. He said that he visited the canteen near the Flower Market in the morning and found no anomalies.

When Deputy Commissioner P. Gandhimathi visited a few other canteens based on his instructions, she too found the canteens to be running in the right direction.

It was wrong to say that the food prepared in the budget canteens were being diverted to the private hotels.

The 1,200 idlis at four each a person and 300 sambar and curd rice plates were emptied out in minutes as the patronage continued to be very good. In fact, the members of the public were urging the Corporation to increase the quantity and varieties, Mr. Rajkumar said.

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