The Blantyre City Council (BCC) Red Star Campaign has hit a snag after 54 property owners obtained a court injunction, restraining the council from enforcing demolition of earmarked buildings.
However, BCC says it is continuing with the operation and still observing the set deadline of 31st March, 2016.
President Peter Mutharika in February last year inaugurated the Red Star Campaign that would see some buildings in Blantyre City being pulled down completely and others being renovated in a bid to make the city beautiful and meet international standards.
BCC through the Red Star Campaign, has earmarked 161 buildings for demolition in central business districts of Limbe and Blantyre.
In an interview, BCC Public Relations Manager, Anthony Kasunda told Nyasa Times the council was working on challenging the restraining order.
”We received court order obtained by 54 developers restraining the Red Star Campaign committee from enforcing demolition,” said Kasunda.”As the council we will pursue the matter in court”.
Kasunda revealed, despite the court order, they have received action plans from other developers interested in seeing the city refurbished to modern and international standards.
”We are happy with them because this is what we expected”.
He said the interest of other developers to proceed with the operation would allow the council to demolish the earmarked buildings in phases.
”It would not be in the interest of Blantyre residents to have about 161 buildings demolished at one goal. Then the city will look like a war zone or that it was hit by natural disaster,” added Kasunda.
”So we will be working closely with those developers that have clearly indicated how they intend to implement our recommendations”.
Meanwhile, BCC has warned to take action against some of developers who removed the red star mark on their buildings.
According to Kasunda, doing so is against Section 72 (1e) of Town and Country Planning Act.
”These developers are given seven days to restore the red star or risk facing legal action. All in all, the Red Star Campaign is still on and we appeal to developers to bring forward their plans of
BCC, last year, through the Red Star Campaign committee assessed 191 properties in Limbe and out of this 87 were recommended for demolition representing a 46 percent.
Blantyre has 189 properties and 74 were earmarked for demolition, representing 39 percent.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :