Gboyega Akinsanmi and Chiemelie Ezeobi
The Lagos State Government on tuesday demolished no fewer than 350 buildings under high-tension installations after a notice of contravention it issued on the occupants expired.
The removal began with the demolition of illegal shops situated directly under high tension lines at Isheri in Egbe-Idimu Local Council Development Area (LCDA) at around 10.00am yesterday.
The demolition was supervised by the Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development, Lagos State Building Control Agency (LASBCA) and Lagos State Task Force on Environmental and Special Offences (Enforcement Unit).
During the demolition, the Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Mr. Anifowoshe Abiola expressed government’s determination “to rid the state of illegal developments.
“This is just another effort to maintain a sustainable, organised, livable and friendly environment. The state government has established zero tolerance for all structures and properties built under high tension cables across the State.
“Having residential buildings or conducting business under high tension power lines constitutes 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.”
The commissioner, however, called on those who had structures within the right of way of public utilities or installations to start removing them now or face the full consequences of the law.
He described the exercise as on-going, saying illegal developments within the right of way of high tension lines in other parts of the state would be removed.
The Acting General Manager of LASBCA, Mr. Oladotun Lasoju, said the Lagos State Urban and Regional Planning and Development Law 2010, not only prohibited building under the centre-line of over-head electricity wires, but also in very clear terms specified the distance to be observed between a property and a public utility such as high tension cables.