Politicians protect illegal buildings

Naseer Ahmed, local MLC, is the president of the company, whose buildings are coming up at Sangondahalli and Sultan Tippasandra. The Authority has decided to pull down the buildings alleging irregularities before construction.

Several politicians have, however, opposed the decision of the Authority. K H Muniyappa, Union Minister of State for Railways, among other prominent politicians, wrote to Chief Minister D V Sadananda Gowda and Urban Development Minister Suresh Kumar.
In the backdrop of their request, the Authority has been stopped from razing the buildings. Also, Suresh Kumar is to visit the site on Saturday.

History
The State government had entered into an agreement with Scotts Garments, which had participated in a conference of global investors in Bangalore. It was decided that the company would set up garment factories in the district, with a view to providing employment to 3,000 people, especially women.

In accordance with the decision, buildings are being constructed at Sangondahalli in Kondarajanahalli gram panchayat limits as well as Sultan Tippasandra.

Irregularities
But the company has now been accused of not getting permission, design approval and other documents before beginning construction of the factory at Sultan Tippasandra.
The building should be at least 30 metres (100 feet) away from the railway line, but the company has maintained a distance of merely 18 metres. Also, the connecting road in the area should be at least 12 metres wide, but the company has a road built that is only nine metres wide.

The company had requested permission for design approval on July 4, but had allegedlyl begun construction before that. A meeting at the Authority on August 6 had, therefore, decided that it was impossible to get a blueprint of the design of the factory.

Construction of the building at Sangondahalli too involved a series of irregularities. The Authority had decided during a meeting that it was not possible to give a certificate permitting construction of the building, approving of the design.

The meeting had also decided that a report would be submitted to the government, regularising of the construction work would be analysed and encroachment cleared.
Permission has been received from the Kondarajanahalli Gram Panchayat, Environment Pollution Control Board and Labour Department. A request has also been submitted to the Urban Development Authority to permit construction at Sultanpalya.

Objection by company
The representatives of Scotts Garments have, therefore, objected to withholding construction, especially in the backdrop of such approval. They have also been supported by several political leaders.

S N Shriram, chairman of the Urban Development Authority, however, stands firm, even in the midst of all opposition, saying the building has to be brought down as rules have been broken.

Meanwhile, the fact that the building belongs to Naseer Ahmed has only added colour to the controversy. There are even allegations that this is the reason why the JD(S) and the Congress leaders are fighting to prevent stopping of construction.
The controversial matter has reached the Chief Minister and the Minister for Law. A visit by the latter will decide the next move regarding the Scotts Garments buildings- whether it will stand or fall.

 No change in our stand: Chairman

S N Shriram, chairman of the Urban Development Authority, stood firm, not wishing to change his decision to demolish the controversial buildings belonging to Scotts Garments.
During a conversation with Deccan Herald on Thursday, Shriram said land belonging to the Railways has been encroached upon to build the factory. The construction too has not been according to rules. The entire construction is unauthorised.

Reacting to the support the company received from local leaders, Shriram said, “Let the leaders first work to provide water to the district. Instead, they are spending time and energy fighting for encroachers, which is not right.”

He  that the leaders, instead of speaking on how land has been encroached upon, have only said demolition of the factory building would lead to communal disharmony.
“The Minister for Law is a popular leader, who does not favour irregularities. I am confident he would support the stand of the Authority,” said Shriram.

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