Thursday, November 18, 2010

HC refuses to stay AMC sealing drive - Ahmedabad

Only buildings that house hospitals, banks, post offices & law firms to be reopened

Ahmedabad: The Gujarat high court on Thursday permitted only those buildings sealed by the AMC in the recent drive to be reopened that house banks, dispensaries, post offices, law firms and other offices of public utility. However, the court gave the relief on the condition that proper parking facility will be created and the required firesafety systems will be installed at these buildings within a month.

Other buildings, which have been sealed by the civic body during the past couple of months, have not been granted any relief by a division bench of the court headed by the chief justice. The high court as well as the civic body have maintained that owners of such buildings must follow fire safety, parking, purpose of use, and illegal encroachment rules.
The shop-owners from CG Road assured the court that they would create parking facility and install fire-safety devices within the time-frame, but the court did not direct the AMC to remove seals from the buildings. The court also did not order any stay on the AMC’s sealing drive. The chief justice observed that the court orders had not been followed for the past 10 years,
The court has permitted the association of shopkeepers from CG Road to come up with a proposal to resolve the parking problems. “Parking space cannot be compromised,” the court observed and suggested that the businessmen pull down a couple of buildings to create multi-storied parking facility. The court rejected the association’s proposal that AMC should allot a plot for parking space. However, the shop owners ensured the court that there would not be any parking on the road. This assurance came after the chief justice commented that CG Road has become a “parking road.”
Meanwhile, AMC informed the court that it has submitted an Action Taken Report to the state government. As per the actions taken till date, 164 high-rise buildings have been found violating norms in four zones.
In its affidavit, AMC has stated that there cannot be any compromise on parking space and it would see to it that fire-safety norms are followed. However, all aggrieved parties have assured that they would install fire-safety systems within three months.

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