LUDHIANA: In reply to the inquiry report submitted by additional commissioner (AC) Rishipal Singh, after verifying electricity connections and buildings constructed in city, the building branch officials have now submitted their reply, mentioning that there was no financial loss to civic body, as they either issued challan or got the building plan approved.
The inquiry report by the AC had cast aspersions on the working of the building branch officials. Municipal commissioner Pardeep Sabharwal also issued show cause notices to the staff and gave seven days for their reply.
In the report, the additional commissioner had mentioned that irregularities were seen between 2016 and 2021. Powercom issued 1.42 lakh new connections in this tenure and out of which, 76,770 properties fall in MC limits. In these five years, starting from 2016 till 2021, only 7,471 building plans were approved and 11,441 challans were issued for the violation of bylaws. Still there is no record of 57,858 buildings.
However, the building branch officials said over 5,000 connections were mentioned twice in the report by additional commissioner as well as connections given to colonies outside of MC limits. The building branch has issued over 20,000 challans to the defaulters. Apart from this, over 7,500 building plans were approved. Over 5,000 plots/houses were regularised. In the list, around 450 advertisement boards are also included whereas these have nothing to do with building branch. Around 2,660 housing units/commercial units are supposedly located in MC limits, but these are not transferred to the civic body yet, they said.
As many 3,900 consumers were rehabilitated from land near Jagraon bridge to MC flats, 950 building plans were approved in saral scheme, 4,300 properties are out side MC limits and there are many properties where more than one meters are installed. As many as 15,000 properties are yet to be verified, as officials mentioned that they had to file the inquiry report in given time period.
One of the senior officials on condition of anonymity said they have submitted their reply to government and MC commissioner. He said they are doing their duty to best of their abilities inspite of shortage of staff, but the inquiry report has damaged their reputation among the public.