Without a permission, construction: CMDA demands Rs 5L from MGM

Following the Madras High Court’s ruling that the Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority (CMDA) must pay a fine of Rs 5 lakh for failing to take action against MGM Healthcare’s construction without plan approval, the planning agency has sent a notice to the hospital stating that it has 15 days to pay back the fine or face interest at the rate of 24% annually.

The high court harshly criticized the authorities for their failure to clamp down on unauthorized constructions and widespread corruption in the plan approval process while ruling on a petition brought forth by senior counsel G Rajagopalan regarding noise pollution caused by MGM Healthcare’s construction of a building on St. Mary’s Road in Alwarpet. A fine of Rs 5 lakh was imposed on CMDA and Chennai Corporation, which had to be paid to the Adyar Cancer Institute.

MGM Healthcare received a legal notification from CMDA stating that while MGM started building earlier, planning clearance was only given on February 23. The planning department said that preliminary work, including piling installation, had been going on since July 2023 while the November 7, 2023, application for planning authorization was being considered.

In a letter dated December 12, 2023, MGM had promised not to start any development at the location until building and planning permissions were obtained. Additionally, it has asked Chennai Corporation to refrain from using coercion going forward. MGM, however, carried ahead with the project.

“Only because of your building operations carried out without consent and planning authority was the cost (penalty) imposed. As a result, MGM Healthcare has 15 days to pay back and refund CMDA for the Rs 5 lakh in costs that were incurred.

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