Navi Mumbai Mayor asks for re-audit of Palm Beach buildings

Asks Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation commissioner to re-audit 21 towers at Palm Beach Road earlier surveyed by the town planning dept for breach of construction norms; corporators against hiring private firm for inspection
In the ongoing scrutiny of errant builders, Navi Mumbai Mayor Sagar Naik has instructed the Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) to carry out random audits of 21 towers at Palm Beach Road, as speculations are rife that the builders have brazenly flouted construction norms. The Mayor's decision comes after a number of complaints questioned the credibility and authenticity of the survey of these 21 towers that was earlier conducted by the Town Planning Department.

Pic for representation

Responding to Naik's instructions, the civic chief has proposed to carry out a survey-cum-audit of these 21 towers by any private firm. However, the move has come as a blow for the department, as the Mayor's instructions are a clear indicator of his losing faith in the department's honesty, sources said. Moreover, the move hasn't gone down well with some of the corporatrors, as they have dismissed the idea of involving a private firm to carry out the audit work.

Chief speaks
According to Bhaskar Wankhede, commissioner, NMMC, "The Town Planning Department had done a good job. We have followed the prescribed procedure by submitting reports in this connection to the state government. However, to clear the air, we are ready to carry out a random audit of these 21 buildings by any private agency or specialists."

Full of doubt
Unhappy with the Mayor's decision of involving private firm to conduct the audit work, Dasharat Bhagat, a Congress corporator, said, "Though we have been demanding a separate audit for these 21 towers, we disagree with the idea of hiring a private firm as the agency would not be held responsible for the final outcome. Besides we have our doubts on the reports that will be submitted by the hired firm."

'Passive dept'
But an NMMC official, requesting anonymity, said, "The Town Planning Department's role in connection with the towers constructed at the Palm Beach area has always been in question. The department has always exhibited a lethargic attitude in initiating action against the buildings with irregularities. Hence, one should not be shocked if doubts are being raised over the survey conducted by the department."

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