The demolition of structures under high voltage power lines in Lagos State has commenced.
On Tuesday, Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development in the state, Tpl. Anifowoshe Abiola, supervised the destruction of such properties at Isheri in Egbe-Idimu local council development area.
The Commissioner said the exercise was embarked on after the expiration of ultimatum issued in the statutory notices served upon owners/occupiers of the affected structures.
The demolition was carried out by a joint operation of officers of the Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development, Lagos State Building Control Agency, and the State Environmental and Special Offences Unit, (Task Force).
Abiola expressed government’s determination to rid the State of Illegal developments, saying that, “This is just another effort to maintain a sustainable, organized, liveable and friendly environment in the State as well as demonstrate government’s commitment to establish zero tolerance for all structures and properties built under high tension cables across the State”.
He added that “having residential buildings or conducting business under High Tension Power Lines constitute a danger to lives and properties that could have fatal consequences. The State Government, through its relevant Ministries and Agencies, will henceforth enforce applicable law strictly by removing all development and activities encroaching on the Right of Way of utilities and services.”
While describing the exercise as on-going and that illegal development within the Right of Way of High Tension Lines in other parts of the State will be removed soon, Anifowoshe however called on those who have structures within the Right of Way of Public Utilities to start removing them now or face the full consequences of the law.
Also speaking on same, the Acting General Manager, Lagos State Building Control Agency, Oladotun Lasoju, “The Lagos State Urban and Regional Planning and Development Law 2010, not only prohibits building under the centre-line of over-head electricity wires, it also, in very clear terms, specified the distance to be observed between a property and a public utility such as the PHCN High Tension Cables.”
“Having served the Statutory Contravention Notices on the offending structures and when Owners of such structures failed to remove them within the statutory notice period, we are compelled to remove such structure at a cost to be borne by the owners,” Lasode said.
In his remark, the representative of the State Environmental and Special Offences Unit, Mr Taofik Aribidesi (Task Force) expressed readiness of the Unit to enforce all applicable laws strictly by assisting relevant Ministries and Agencies to remove all development and activities encroaching on the Right of Way of utilities and services in the State.