Company Accrual Fee Collection Zooms 339% in One Year | News from Thiruvananthapuram

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Thiruvananthapuram: The civic body has bridged the permit fee collection deficit with prodigious revenue from regularizing unauthorized construction. Based on the figures presented in the budget document for 2022-23, the municipality recorded a 339% increase in the collection of regularization fees between 2020-21 and 2021-22.
Figures for the last four fiscal years show that the collection of regularization fees has steadily increased, with the exception of the 2020-21 pandemic, when it fell below Rs 1 crore and recorded Rs 68 lakh.
However, in 2021-2022, collection increased to Rs 3 crore although the expected amount was Rs 3.5 crore. The recurring increase in regularization fees is indicative of the wave of unauthorized construction in the city.
The municipality had detected 450 buildings built in violation of construction standards, according to statistics presented to the assembly in 2020. Up to 42 unauthorized constructions have been demolished by the municipality since 2015 and the owners of 52 unauthorized constructions have obtained a stay order against demolition.
Large pieces of unauthorized constructions were detected in Vizhinjam-Kovalam area. A total of 169 buildings have been identified as unauthorized in the area in 2020. A demolition campaign has been finalized in accordance with the decision of a meeting convened by the LSG department during which it was decided to assess the aftermath data to report submitted by Vigilance regarding constructions that have occurred in violation of Coastal Regulatory Area standards.
However, the company verified the decision after complaints surfaced about the civic body ruining the tourism industry.
In 2016, assemblage data revealed information about private and government buildings that had been built either in violation of the municipality’s building regulations or without approval from the art and heritage commission unless 100 meters from Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple. According to a response provided by the then Minister of LSG, KT Jaleel, the municipality had issued an interim order for these buildings. But the list included some of the buildings that were built almost two decades ago. The response listed violations and encroachments by a hotel group, unauthorized constructions near Pathra Kulam, encroachments by a shopping complex, hotel, heritage area violations by the Treasury building, unauthorized construction of a high-rise building by the Technical Education Directorate, high-rise buildings construction of a jewelry store, constructions above a textile shop and unauthorized constructions along Pazhavangadi to Attakulangara.
Berths on the left side of the main gate of East Fort and a mobile tower on top of the Soubhagya building were also listed as constructions for which an interim order had been issued.
In 2018, the company took action against unauthorized construction in Vizhinjam, Thiruvallom, Nemom, Vattiyoorkavu and Fort. The highest number of unauthorized constructions was detected in the Vizhinjam area; 149.
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