Express News Service
CHENNAI: 12 applications under the regularisation scheme, which were initially approved by the Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority, have been cancelled after it was found that it did not fulfil the criteria under the scheme.
A top CMDA official told TNIE the 12 applications were given a conditional approval which was against the regularisation norms. The approvals have been cancelled and applicants have been asked to set right the violations which were detected before applying under the scheme.
The applications pertain to the old 1999 regularisation scheme. Currently, the CMDA is clearing files under both the old and new regularisation scheme that was rolled out on June 22, 2017. The new applications were kept in abeyance as the Madras High Court, in its September 2017 order, stated that regularisation of setback violations could not be permitted. However, there is no bar on considering the applications for regularisation, filed under Section 113-A, in case there is evidence to show the building was put up before the cut-off date of February 28, 1999.
It is learnt that the planning assistant and assistant planner who were scrutinising the 12 applications refused to recommend it for approval. However, the deputy planner and chief planner overlooked the objections and gave their nod by giving a conditional approval.
This was objected by Member Secretary Anshul Mishra, who cancelled the 12 files and wanted the owners to set right the violations after which they can apply for approvals. He said action will also be taken against the CMDA planners who granted the conditional approval.
Conditional approvals have been plaguing the planning process where initially officials reject the proposals but later grant approvals on conditions. However, once the approval is given, there is no means to check whether or not the conditions were fulfilled. It is learnt that enforcement officials have also been warned not to give conditional approvals.
The major issue is due to officials from area plans, enforcement, and completion certificate units, continuing in their posts for over 10 years. Usually, these officials should be transferred to various units every two to three years so that it ushers in transparency and provides a chance for others to understand CMDA rules and how units perform. Similarly, those under the scanner of vigilance are to be transferred from sensitive posts and not allowed to continue. However, this doesn’t seem like the situation now, said sources.