HC directs DLF to remove structures for mall in Egmore

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Chennai, Jul 4 (UNI) The Madras High Court today directed real estate major DLF properties to remove all the temporary structures put up for its proposed mall project on Ethiraj Lane in Egmore by 1600 hrs tomorrow.

A bench comprising Chief Justice A K Ganguly and Justice F M Ibrahim Kalifulla, recording the personal appearance of the Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority (CMDA) member-secretary M R Mohan, said, ''the respondent is directed to remove all the temporary structure by tomorrow 1600 hrs. If not, the CMDA is authorised to demolish the same.'' During arguments, the judges disagreed with additional Advocate-General Veeraraghavan's submission that there were no provisions in the development control rules to demolish structures if their application for planning permission was still pending.

Wondering whether there existed different yardsticks for big projects and ordinary persons, the judges cited specific provisions of the Tamil Nadu Town and Country Planning Act, and observed, ''you have power to take action.'' They also told the senior counsel for the builder that his client was acting with impunity.

The matter relates to a public interest writ petition filed by Rajiv Rai objecting to the grant of approval for the proposed multi-storeyed shopping mall by DLF Properties in Egmore.

Since the locality already had a mall and a number of commercial establishments, besides a college, club and post office, the proposed structure would have an adverse impact on the available infrastructure, he said.

Already, owing to the size of the Ethiraj Road, traffic police were resorting to entry restriction and time limits for vehicles using the stretch, he noted.

The proposed six-lakh sq ft complex will put residents to further hardships, he added.

Yesterday, the judges had asked the member-secretary to be present in court on Friday, and said, ''in the mean time, all activities shall stop at the site.'' UNI XR SR CS2330

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