CMDA, Revenue and Citi Center
the CMDA has recently woken up from its slumber and gone on a demolition drive. The latest victim of this is the “Chennai Citi Center” which was issued a notice last week asking it to vacate the premises so that the CMDA can demolish the building.
According to this Hindu report, the builders had deviated from the approved plan, and a notice was sent in October 2006. The builders ignored the notice and a CMDA inspection revealed that the builders had not acted on the notice, but had ignored it. This inspection was in February 2007, and the current notice of demolition was issued in April 2007.
The way events have unfolded seems suspicious, there seems to have been hectic behind the scenes negotiations between the promoters and CMDA. CMDA inspected the site in February, but issued a notice only in April. During this gap, I am sure negotiations between both parties regarding this would have been conducted. The notice must have been issued after the failure of negotiations.
Supposing a promoter invests money to build a mall the size of Chennai Citi Center, and deviates from the approved plan. Deviations from approved plans are a frequent occurrence in the city, they are more the norm rather than exceptions. The promoter I presume would have negotiated a price with the CMDA officials to let the building stand. Once the construction was over, the CMDA I presume would have used the deviations to bargain for a higher price, and the promoter I presume would have relented, therefore the notices.
Now of course the fate of Chennai Citi Center will be decided based on further negotiations and bargaining, before a price is arrived at. CMDA should avoid such frequent negotiations, and just let business function in peace. It is better off in the long run by sticking to prices and not suffering such credibility problems, because then the violations will increase and therefore more revenue for the CMDA.