Coming down hard at the Chennai Corporation, the Madras High Court ordered it to cut off power, water supply to illegal buildings.

Corporation office or corruption office HC slams Chennai Corp over encroachments
news Court Monday, December 31, 2018 - 10:14

The Madras High Court has ordered the disconnection of power and water supply in illegally-constructed buildings, observing that encroachments are ‘spreading like cancer.’ In a scathing attack on the city's municipal administration, the Madras High Court asked whether Chennai had a Corporation office or a corruption office.

According to a report in the Times of India, a division bench of Justice S Vaidyanathan and Justice Krishnan Ramasamy said that the property details of corporation officials should be uploaded online, from the date of their commencement in office to their completion, in order to track the disproportionate assets they may have amassed from the job.

The Court said that unless periodic review is carried out by the authorities, violations could continue even as 'law-abiding citizen become a laughing stock.'

According to the Deccan Chronicle, the Court said that the illegal construction would not take place without the connivance of authorities. If the violated portion was unable to be earmarked for the purpose of disconnection of electricity and water supply, the entire portion shall be disconnected and the officials should ensure that the violators shall not draw connections by any other mode.

The aggrieved person, whose electricity and water supply connections were disconnected, shall file an application in the pending or disposed of matters that would enable the judge/judges, who passed the orders in encroachment/illegal construction matters, the bench said.

The Court's strong remarks came during the hearing of an old case, wherein the compliance over the demolition of an unauthorised part of a building in Mannady was yet to take place. Calling for an expedited hearing in cases pending before the Housing and Urban Development Secretary, the Court also called for the appointment of honest officers to hear the appeals.

The Hindu reports that the court ordered the Housing Secretary to personally hear all appeals related to the Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority (CMDA) twice a week, including on Saturdays.

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