Complaints against councillors

Realtors and property owners who had recently constructed buildings in central and south Chennai are spending sleepless nights and frequenting Ripon Buildings, the city civic headquarters, making complaints against councillors.

The property owners are queuing up to meet the top brass of the Chennai corporation seeking their intervention to curb the interference of local councillors. Ward representatives demand money when buildings are constructed and in case of buildings that are completed, the councillors insist that the local divisional engineers serve showcause notices so that they can interfere and negotiate with the owners, said a source at the Ripon Buildings.

In the past six months, the corporation has served more than 600 showcause notices and has sealed close to two-dozen buildings. Still there are hundreds of illegal buildings protected by local political leaders and though showcause notices are served action is not mooted.

“These complaints are common in Sowcarpet, Vepery, Perambur, Choolai, Purswalkakkam and in the case of south Chennai building violations are hardly controlled and goes unchecked along the ECR and IT corridor upto Shozinganallur,” a corporation official said.

When it comes to property-related complaints and negotiations, almost all party workers create a divisional level nexus and most issues are dealt locally. There have been several cases where the top brass of the corporation had warned a few errant councillors, but the ward representatives are yet to learn their lessons, sources admitted.

“Irrespective of the regime change, councillors are always councillors. Previously the DMK councillors minted money and now it is the turn of AIADMK. Unless the party warns the ward members and the corporation deals with illegal buildings with an iron hand, Chennai will choke,” said a retired chief engineer of Chennai Corporation.

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