Tuesday, December 28, 2010

CG Road parking: HC gives Jan 20 ultimatum

AMC Will Restart Sealing Drive Post Deadline
Ahmedabad:The Gujarat high court on Tuesday gave an ultimatum to CG Road shop owners to create parking facilities by January 20. The division bench, extending the stay on Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation’s (AMC) sealing drive, warned that if the shop owners failed to meet the deadline their establishments would be sealed.
   The bench, headed by the chief justice, was hearing the public interest litigation (PIL) seeking implementation of court orders telling authorities to follow construction and traffic laws. The bench made it clear to the CG Road Shop Owners’ Association that the court cannot be used as a tool to collect money from members for the purpose of purchasing land for parking areas.
   The judges said the court was not aware if the associations were recognized or how much funds had been collected and whether court orders were being used as pressure tactics. “We do not want to become a party in this process, and we will not allow you to collect the money. Do not use the court as a tool for the purpose of fund collection,” the chief justice said.
   The petitioners’ counsel Mihir Thakore contended that AMC should return over Rs 2 crore to the businessmen, which was deposited earlier with the municipal authority as impact fee. However, the civic body had refused to accept the amount as the fee given for regularisation of illegal construction.
   The senior counsel informed the court that the amount has been lying with AMC for the past eight years and by returning the money the civic body could help the businessmen in purchasing land. But, the court refused to intervene in the issue. The division bench noticed that despite an order, the petitioners had not earmarked place for parking and they also did not provide any details to AMC regarding constructional changes in the buildings.
   The judges observed that the court had stopped AMC from sealing buildings after the petitioner associations assured of a solution. But if parking space is not created by January 20, AMC would continue sealing illegal buildings.

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