Thousands of builders from the city marched to the district collector’s office on Tuesday, protesting against “government apathy and policies”, which they alleged drove Thane-based realtor Suraj Parmar to suicide. In a memorandum submitted to the collector, the builders highlighted five key problems they face and demanded quick redressal.
Among their demands are: elimination of discretion in the process of approvals, holding officers responsible for their actions, creation of a time-bound complaint-redressal mechanism, allowing builders to file their say before ‘stop-work’ notice is issued and elimination of political interference in the building permission department.
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Parmar, in his suicide note, had blamed civic officials for driving him to take the extreme step. The note alleged he was driven to the brink because of harassment by civic officials. Following the suicide, realtors across the state had decided to protest to highlight what they termed harassment they face at the hands of government officials.
Shantilal Kataria, president of CREDAI Pune Metro, said the builders’ body had time and again blamed delay in clearances of projects for the rising cost of real estate in the city. “Despite several high-level meetings, a single-window clearance remains a dream. Such policies and government apathy are putting too much pressure on builders, leading to frustration and stress,” he said.
Realtors, in particular, want political interference in the building permission department weeded out. “There is no reason why certain people should have access to developers’ files even before plans are sanctioned. As equal citizens, all elected officials must also be required to obtain any detail through the RTI route and not be permitted to directly summon officials to provide details of project plans,” a release said.
Shrikant Paranjape, Suhas Merchant, Rohit Gera, Anil Pharande, Kishore Pate, Manish Jain, Anuj Bhandari, Anuj Goel, Nitin Nyati, D S Kulkarni and Sudhir Darode Jog were among the prominent builders present in the rally.