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Bus terminus at burial site? CMDA gets ‘stop work’ notice from ASI

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The New Indian Express        25.04.2017  

Bus terminus at burial site? CMDA gets ‘stop work’ notice from ASI

CHENNAI: The Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority’s attempts to find land for its proposed bus terminus for south-bound buses hit a new roadblock after it was realised that the Kelambakkam site lies within the protected and prohibited zone of the Archaeological Survey of India.

ASI sources told Express that they have issued a ‘stop work’ notice, asking CMDA to refrain from carrying out any construction activity in the area which is a megalithic burial site. These stone-capped burial monuments have chambers and other internment arrangements in stone.

According to an amendment to the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, in January 2010, all construction is banned within 100 metres of ASI-protected areas. Also, any construction or reconstruction or repair of a building with 200 metres of such areas requires permission from the National Monument Authority.

Though revenue officials have refused to give details on the extent of the ASI site within the 88-acre land that was identified for the bus terminus and allied development, it is learnt that a major portion forms part of the protected and prohibited zone. This is cause for concern for CMDA, who has been changing sites for bus terminus projects ever since the announcement for a southbound bus terminus by the late Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, after assuming office in 2011.

CMDA had been studying three options as suggested by consultant CR Narayana Rao to develop the bus terminus after the government won a legal battle earlier this year. The options call for having revenue sources such as amusement parks, a residential area, an office complex, banks, hotels, health centres, a commercial complex and convention centres, besides a parking facility for two-wheelers, cars and autos for commuters.

Sources said the plan to develop a residential complex has been dropped and possibilities are being explored for achieving connectivity between the proposed bus terminus to Urapakkam railway station and Kelambakkam road running along the northern side of the site.

Besides this, connectivity to the proposed public transit systems such as Monorail and Metro Rail is under consideration.CMDA is now evolving a design with minimum development within the protected prohibited area and larger structures to be planned in the remaining area, sources said.


Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority projects on lands it doesn’t own

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The New Indian Express         21.04.2017 

Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority projects on lands it doesn’t own

Koyambedu Market is under the scanner | P Jawahar

CHENNAI: Even in the bizarre world of bureaucracy, this is unusual. The Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority (CMDA), the agency that helps plan and guide the development of the metropolis, does not have the patta for most of its key projects, documents available with Express show.

Worse still, it does not have the patta even for the land where its headquarters are situated.

According to information available with this newspaper, the list of infrastructure projects that the agency undertook over the years, without mandatory pattas, include important ones like Koyambedu Wholesale Market, Manali New Town, Maraimalai Nagar New Town Project and even the newly-constructed Madhavaram Bus and Truck Terminal. All these were private lands that were acquired for the projects.

In all, the authority implemented projects in 837 acres of private land without obtaining the necessary pattas, the documents reveal.

Records show that of the 296 acres acquired for Koyambedu market, 125.29 acres is private land for which the patta is yet to be obtained in CMDA’s favour.

Similarly, the new bus terminus project is being implemented at Madhavaram without obtaining the patta for nearly half of the land acquired for the project.

A total of 80.19 acres has been acquired for the bus and truck terminal project, but the patta for 46 acres is yet to be transferred in favour of CMDA, documents reveal.

CMDA’s trouble is worse at the Maraimalai Nagar New Town project that was conceived over four decades ago. The land that was acquired in 1974 to develop a satellite town outside the city to regulate population growth as suggested by the First Master Plan, has hardly put to use.

Of the 2,371 acres acquired for the project, the patta for 376 acres of private land is yet to be transferred to CMDA’s name. Similarly, the patta for 583 acres of government land, too, is yet to be transferred to the authority. As the project stayed in limbo, the land was encroached upon, and previous landowners managed to get a favourable order to denotify the land from acquisition as it was not put to use.

Even the Manali New Town project is stuck. The patta for 291 acres of private land is yet to be transferred, while the pattas for five land records have gone missing. The State housing board had acquired 291.91 acres of land from private land owners through 18 awardings, which have gone missing.


Building sealed for plan approval violation

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The Hindu       11.04.2017 

Building sealed for plan approval violation

Caught in storm:V.V. Tower in Palayamkottai that was sealed on Monday for violation of plan approval.A. SHAIKHMOHIDEENAA_SHAIKMOHIDEEN;A_SHAIKMOHIDEEN  

It is owned by beach minerals mining baron S. Vaikundarajan’s brother

V.V. Towers, a landmark building owned by beach minerals mining baron S. Vaikundarajan’s brother Jegatheesan opposite Government Siddha Medical College here, was sealed on Monday for alleged building plan violations.

Even as a police team was providing protective cover, a team of officials attached to the Local Planning Authority (LPA) sealed the four-storey building, housing a non-vegetarian restaurant, a super market and a few more offices, around 7.30 a.m. after Collector and Chairman of LPA M. Karunakaran inspected the building.

LPA letter

In a letter sent to Mr. Jegatheesan on April 6, the Member Secretary of LPA stated that the commercial complex at Murugankurichi had been built with additional floors in violation of the building plan approval granted by the LPA.

It had been built without adequate parking facility. Moreover, no revised plan approval was obtained from the LPA for the violations.

Since the commercial complex would be sealed on April 10, operation of the offices functioning from this building should be stopped completely by removing the materials stocked in the building under question, the letter said.

“The building was sealed as it has been built in violation of the building plan approval granted by the LPA. Similar notices have been sent to the owners of a few more buildings across the district and appropriate action will be taken on these notices,” Dr. Karunakaran told the waiting reporters after inspecting the sealing of V.V. Towers. When the officials were about to seal the building, a group of advocates tried to resist the attempt. After the officials told them that they were acting on the court’s direction, the lawyers left the spot.


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