Town planning wing removed minutes of building committee meetings from GHMC website?

Sharing this article appearing in ET Realty

HYDERABAD: While the entire machinery of the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) is busy with the election arrangements and also building regularization scheme works, the town planning wing has removed the minutes of building committee meetings from GHMC website. Some building files are reportedly missing especially files pertaining to the West Zone.

Sources said a senior town planning official is reportedly behind the removal of minutes of the building committees from the website mainly to help some builders. A couple of years ago, the GHMC has decided to place the building committee meetings on the website mainly to main the transparency in building permissions especially high-rise buildings. Initially, the municipal corporation provided the copies of building committee meeting minutes to the media. Later it started posting on the website.

The building committee meetings are headed by the GHMC commissioner and chief city planner, fire services department officials, traffic police and others are members of the committee. The committee members examine the building plans submitted by the builders and suggest if any modifications are required. Official sources said a senior official of town planning wing started attending the committee meetings though he is not a member of the committee and pushing the building projects of his jurisdiction. There were allegation against him for making changes in the minutes copies. Another retired chief city planner of the GHMC has been attending the building committee meetings without authorisation.

“If the minutes are placed on the website, general public come to know about permissions given at various locations and also can approach the corporation if there is any issue including civil disputes related to the property. For the past few months, the GHMC stopped uploading the minutes and now minutes were removed mainly to help some errant builders,” S Chandrasekhar, an RTI and anti-corruption activist told TOI.

He said some building plans, which were already sanctioned, were not available on the website in the wake of building regularization scheme. “We have sent representation to the municipal corporation on this issue especially against a senior town planning official’s involvement on the alleged malpractices but no action has been taken against him,” Ch Venkateshwara Rao, a resident of Srinivasnagar, Secunderabad said.

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