Scuffle broke out between traders and municipality officials in Ooty Bazaar area as ground inspection to seal unauthorised buildings has begun on Wednesday.
Despite several warnings from the district administration, construction of unapproved lands has been steeply increasing in the district. Eventually, it has grown to be a potential threat to flora and fauna in the Nilgiris. Following this, the municipality officials initiated the closure of unauthorised buildings on Ooty's Bazaar street by sticking notices. A few such buildings, which were already served notices, were closed. However, traders picked up a verbal fight with the officials demanding more time to clear the place.
According to sources, nearly 1,300 buildings have been constructed against norms in a fortnight in Ooty. Similarly, various instances of violations, including deviation in approved plans, encroachments and unauthorised structures, have also been reported in a fortnight.
"This has led to severe ecological and environmental degradation in the hilly region," said an official.
It may be noted that in an attempt to regulate construction activities, the High Court amended the ‘Master Plan’ of Ooty Local Planning Area in 2011. Accordingly, only 34.67 per cent of the total area of the hilly region could be developed.