The district collector and chairman of local planning authority (LPA) AnshulMishra has submitted his report through additional advocate general K. Chellapandian
to the Madurai bench of the Madras high court in connection with a case related to Vishall De Mall, a multi-storied building with shopping complex and multiplex theatres, which has allegedly violated the norms.
In his report, the collector told the court that parking facility at the mall is highly insufficient at present and the requirement for sufficient open space for free movement of persons and vehicle and space required to facilitate rescue operation in times of emergency is likely to be highly unsatisfactory.
The collector also stated in his report that the planning and building permission were granted by the Madurai corporation to the multi-storied building in violation of rules and action is being taken to cancel the same.
According to the earlier directions passed by a division bench comprising Justices Chitra Venkataraman and S Vimala on March 7 in appeal preferred by collector, Mishra conducted a joint inspection along with officials of the public works department (PWD), local planning authority, fire and rescue services, traffic police and Madurai corporation at the building on March 9 and filed his report before the bench when the matter came up for further hearing.
The collector's report stated that according to norms of the development control rules, the building should accommodate 283 four-wheelers whereas only 65 four-wheelers can be accommodated.
"To ascertain the ground reality, random inspection was conducted by the road transport officer, tasildar and sub-inspector of police on March 24, in which 253 two-wheelers and 13 cars of persons who came to the mall were found parked in the nearby building due to the non-availability of parking facility. If theatres are allowed to run, then an additional 350 two-wheelers and 53 four-wheelers are expected," the collector said.
Besides, the PWD is not able to point out anything about the proposed steel structure staircases will be able to withstand heavy fire for minimum two hours and function as a safe escape route for panic-stricken people.
"The management's proposed staircase is definitely going to eat into the meagrely available open space. No evacuation and rescue operation can be free of dangers, if public buildings do not have the requisite open spaces," the collector said.
The LPA claimed that the building was constructed without proper application and without obtaining permission of the director of town and country planning. Thereby, the collector on October 8 last year passed order denying licence for operating five theatres by INOX Leisure at the fifth and sixth floors of multi storied Vishaal-de-Mall here citing many grounds including lack of fire safety measures, endangering the life and security of public visiting the complex.
When the matter was taken by the Vishal promoters'chairman R. Ilankovan to the court, the single judge R. Subbiah passed orders on January 18 by allowing the petition on the grounds that the permission granted by the Madurai Corporation is valid till it is set at naught in the manner prescribed by law. However, the Justice also observed that if there is any violation of the building permission, the authority is at liberty to set right the same.
Aggrieving over it, appeal was preferred by the collector.
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