Mohammed Pahelwan’s property, which was all set to be razed by the GHMC on Tuesday, is one among the thousands of unauthorized commercial and residential buildings in the Old City area. Between February and May alone this year, the corporation identified many as 68 ongoing construction projects as unauthorized.
Most of the new constructions of which a chunk of them involve remodelling of old buildings do not have required permissions. The town planning officials remain mute spectators in majority of the cases largely due to political interference, sources in the civic body said.
Almost all builders resort to varying degrees of violations or deviations. “With 99 per cent of the corporators in the area representing a single political party, the political interference runs high here,” said an observer. But GHMC officials say that all the areas, which were brought under the Urban Land Ceiling Act of 1976, including Chandrayangutta, Bandlaguda, part of Bahadurpura, Nawab Sahab Kunta, Hafizbaba Nagar, entire locality of Hassan Nagar, Riyasatnagar, Mecca Colony among others have unauthorized constructions.
According to officials, on an average, 20 new permissions for carrying out constructions are given in Old City area on a monthly basis. But builders here say that the GO 86, which declared most of the areas in Old City as congested allowing only ground plus two for residential and ground plus three for commercial buildings has come as a huge stumbling block to construction activity in Old City. “Hence, violations are the norm and not the exception. If the violations have come down to 15-20 per cent in the newer areas in the city over the last few years, it’s a different ball game in Old City due to GO 86,” a builder admits.
“Due to GO 86, there is no commercial viability here. Due to lack of awareness among the public, they buy the property whether it has the required sanction or not,” says another builder,who recently completed his project in Noorkhan Bazaar area. He says that the government has to take a relook into the rule. “There are several areas where despite wider roads, the authorities have marked them as congested, which is unwarranted,” he says. TOI