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July 3, 2014

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On-spot demolition for illegal buildings

ILLEGAL buildings face demolition within hours of being reported under tough new city regulations.

Law enforcement teams will arrive within two hours of receiving tip-offs to stop work on illegal structures and demolish them immediately, Tang Zhiping, director of the city’s construction committee, said yesterday.

Other elements in the regulations include builders being liable for demolition costs and blacklisting those involved.

“We’ll curb widespread unauthorized constructions across the city from the source,” said Tang.

He said officials had in the past faced frustrations, for while a building could be erected in hours, procedures meant it might take years to tear them down.

Authorities have estimated that there are at least 60,000 residential buildings illegally constructed or extended in Shanghai. These often occupy public areas of neighboring properties and many pose safety risks as they were constructed with inappropriate materials.

The greenery and urban management authority said it has made good progress tackling the problem this year.

It removed 4 million square meters of illegal buildings between January and June, while the initial target for the year was 3.5 million square meters, said Lu Yuexing, deputy director with the greenery and urban management bureau.

Under the new regulations, builders will have to pay demolition costs and any associated fines.

Companies and individuals involved will be ruled out of city government and other awards, added Tang.

And in cases where an extension built by an existing business is demolished, that business will also face penalties.

The industrial and commercial committee will blacklist it from conducting business, the food and drug watchdog will suspend food production licenses, while electricity, gas and water supplies will also be cut, Tang said.

Individuals found responsible will be banned by the public safety bureau from applying for local residence permits.

And property management companies found to be negligent face blacklisting from managing communities elsewhere.

Residents can call the housing management hotline 962121 to report illegal construction, Gu said.


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