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RAWALPINDI: The Rawal Town Municipal Administration (RTMA) has launched a crackdown against illegal buildings in the city and Administrator Chaudhry Mohammad Ali Randhawa initiated action against a building inspector in this regard.

Mr Randhawa started proceedings against the building inspector of Satellite Town area, Pervaiz Akhter, under the Punjab Employees Efficiency, Discipline and Accountability (Peda) Act 2006 and issued warnings to three other inspectors.

Mr Akhter has been accused of helping the owner of a commercial building at Iran Road construct a multi-storey structure without the approval of the building department.

Under Peda Act 2006, the official may either be removed from service or his five year service would be forfeited without conducting any inquiry.

The administrator had conducted a survey of the city which revealed that more than 100 commercial buildings had been constructed illegally without the approval of the civic body.

Previously, a fact finding committee, headed by Town Municipal Officer (TMO) Sardar Tashfeen, was formed which recommended action against the building inspector for allowing construction without a building plan for his own vested interest.

After learning that RTMA officials were involved in the illegal construction of buildings, Mr Randhawa decided to form a special squad instead of relying on the present staff of the building department.

The squad will identify illegal commercial and domestic buildings in the city’s 46 union councils, and the TMO will look into the affairs of the squad in the city areas.

The six-member squad will start working from Monday (today).

When contacted, Mr Randhawa said the new squad would encourage people to get RTMA’s approval before constructing any building.

He said all illegal buildings would be identified and razed without any warning.

“According to the law, illegal constructions can be razed without issuing any notice,” he said.

The administrator said he felt the building department needed extra attention for improvement.

“This will improve the functions of the civic body and ensure that it is corruption free,” he said.

Responding to a question, Mr Randhawa said RTMA’s information technology department was working on creating the department’s official website and a facebook page to receive complaints.

“We will soon advertise the toll free number for complaints pertaining to the building department,” he said.

He added that the department had been asked to ensure files were not delayed unnecessarily.

Decisions regarding approval or rejection of building plans would be made within 15 days, he maintained.

He said in the past, people constructed illegal buildings after which the building inspectors imposed a fine and declared these legal.

“However, under the new system, people will have to get prior approval or else the buildings will be considered illegal,” he said.
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