Builders and councillors form dangerous nexus

Some councillors of the ruling AIADMK and opposition DMK have developed quite a bonhomie with builders and real estate promoters in their wards.

Cutting across party lines, these small groups often meet in Chennai corporation parks, on the Marina beach and in city hotels to ensure construction works progress without any hurdle.

According to Ripon Building sources, the situation is murkier in central Chennai where councillors often meet at Mylady’s park as a consequence of which several buildings that deviate from Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority and town planning norms mushroom. Such friendly political units are also active in Korattur-Ambattur areas.

A similar situation prevails in the case of corporation wards covering the IT corridor and OMR. Such is the nexus that a building located close to the Vijaynagar bus terminus that was locked and sealed some three months ago was later reopened.

Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority (CMDA) and the city corporation may have embarked on a major drive to identify buildings that have been constructed violating building norms.

But such intercession by errant councillors will only spoil the city. Field engineers of the city corporation lament that despite high court intervention and strict orders several illegal buildings remain untouched due to the interference of local councillors.

The monitoring committee appointed by the Madras high court had urged the city corporation to expedite the survey. Once the survey is complete, action is to be taken, according to CMDA insiders.

The failure on the part of divisional engineers of the corporation to conduct periodical inspections had also led to a spurt in the number of illegal buildings and buildings with CMDA violations.

More than 50 per cent of the violations can be prevented if surveillance and corruption is weeded out, sources aver.

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