Residential areas under Estate Office scanner for violations

After taking steps to tighten its noose around commercial buildings in the city, which have blatantly violated building bylaws and misused the premises, now residential properties are on the radar of the UT Estate Office (EO).

The Estate Office has started conducting surveys in each sector in the residential areas, based on which, teams are issuing notices to owners for violations including constructing illegal rooms on ground floor, rooftops and balconies.

Following a recent survey conducted in Sector 22 (B), around 400 notices have been issued under Section 8,10,14 of the Estate Office Rules in the area. The residents will have to pay a penalty of Rs 500 per square feet from the date of issuance of the first notice by the EO.

On Wednesday only, the Estate Office had slapped a notice on a shop at Sector 17, asking it to pay a penalty of Rs 19 crore.

However, despite dozens of demolition drives and hundreds of showcause notices, violations still continue in the residential areas. Sources in the EO said the total number of houses with violations run into several thousands in urban areas alone.

Even the high amount of penalty is no deterrent for the defaulters. In fact, in the past, the EO had failed to recover crores of rupees as penalty. It was only in 2002 that the EO had started levying penalty charges.

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