The Coimbatore Corporation will try a temporary measure to help residents of houses less than 1,000 sq.ft. in area obtain power connections and thereby get around an order of the Tamil Nadu Electricity Regulatory Commission that building plans and a no objection certificate (NoC) from the local body were needed for the connections. An all-party meeting at the Corporation on Monday discussed measures to at least enable these houses get power connections.
As part of efforts to discourage the construction of unauthorised buildings or deviation from approved building plans, the Commission had issued an order that made the furnishing of the building plan and the NoC to the Tamil Electricity Board mandatory for the release of power connections. At the last three meetings of the Corporation Council, councillors had demanded that the civic body take this issue up with the Government and the electricity board.
They argued that the board was being very rigid only in Coimbatore and not in other cities or towns. They were upset that people who had recently constructed small houses were not able to obtain the connections because of a ‘sweeping’ order on all types of buildings. When councillors conveyed their anguish at the all-party meeting on Monday, officials of the Tamil Nadu Electricity Board said that they had to abide by the order of the Commission. The councillors wanted relaxation of rules for small houses, pointing out that these belonged to the economically weak sections.
At the same time, people in the city built houses on two cents and that these houses were less than 1,000 sq.ft in area. The rules of the Corporation did not mandate building plans for houses less than 1,000 sq.ft in area. Therefore, these residents’ applications for power connections were being rejected because they could not submit a building plan. The all-party meeting decided that owners of houses below 1,000 sq.ft. also could submit building plans to the zone office of the Corporation. The plans would be scrutinised by the Corporation. Those found acceptable would be cleared for submission to the electricity board, along with the NoC. This, the parties felt, might provide a temporary solution.