Kolkata civic body check on ponds before building plan nod

Ryan M. Cason
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Kolkata civic body check on ponds before building plan nodKOLKATA: The Kolkata Municipal Corporation building department inspectors will need to conduct a physical verification of ponds or water bodies before sanctioning or withholding building plans.

Mayor Firhad Hakim agreed to such a proposal from at least two members, mayor-in-council, during a meeting at the civic headquarters held on Thursday.

A section of the MMiCs on Thursday raised the issue of harassment being faced by citizens who purchase land, especially in the added areas without knowing that it is recorded as a water body in the KMC records. When the purchaser applies for building plan sanction on the land, the KMC building department refuses to sanction a building plan.

Tarak Singh, the member, mayor-in-council oversees the KMC sewerage and drainage department, raised such an issue, pointing to the hassles faced by a Behala resident who had bought a four-cottah land and got the mutation done by the block land revenue officer (BLRO) as the area falls under the jurisdiction of the state land and land reforms department.

However, when the purchaser applied for a building plan on the land, the local KMC borough office refused it, saying the civic body’s record showed that the land was a pond. According to Singh, many residents of Behala are falling victims to this dual system of examining land.

“If a BLRO gives his/her approval for a mutation of a land, that means the state record says the land does not fall in the pond or other water bodies category. But the KMC building department record says something different. These differences must be sorted out at the earliest to give relief to land owners,” said Singh.

Another MMiC Debasish Kumar also raised the same issue and sought the mayor’s intervention. After giving a patient hearing to his council members, Hakim said that henceforth in the event of such land disputes, the KMC building department would need to conduct a physical verification and correct the records kept in the department.

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