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Illegal structures spring up on EWS' plots; builders make a killing

Illegal structures spring up on EWS plots; builders make a killing

Gururgam: Over two weeks have passed since Ullhawas building collapse that claimed the lives of seven people. Despite the investigation launched by the district administration, the perils of unsafe and illegal buildings in the city remain intact.

There are an estimated 2,300 unsafe structures that are presently there in Gurugram.In the recent past, most of it has come up in the residential plots that were meant for the economically weaker groups.

To benefit from the burgeoning demand of providing accommodation to the workforce in the city, the landowner's of such plots began the process of building the houses way beyond the prescribed safety limit.

The profitability of these landowners can be gauged from the fact that the minimum rental in these houses can be in the tune of Rs two lakhs to three lakhs monthly. This only increases further by getting more tenants.

From 2015 to 2018, 790 houses set up in EWS plots were served notices for illegal construction in the EWS plots. Shockingly only seventy of these houses occupancy certificates were cancelled. Moreover, just days after the Ullhawas tragedy, a complaint was forwarded to Department of Town and Country Planning (DTCP) that how 15 such illegal buildings were coming up in the EWS plots in one single area.

The high demand for providing accommodation for immigrants to the city not only are these illegal structures being used for rent purposes but have used the space for opening small hotels and other commercial establishments.

Most of the PG's in an area of 150 to 200 square yards built floors that are more than five storeys. In worse off situations the owners of the buildings have not feared of building a seven-storey building in the plot area measuring up to 60 square yards.

Further, most of the landowners in lieu of greater profit are taking in more tenants than required. In most of the cases, there are more than five people staying in the same room which does not have proper dimensions in terms of length and breadth ideally specified for the living area.

As the landowners build their structures illegally, most of them do not get floors registered and therefore basic facilities like clean drinking water and electricity are also not being provided in these buildings.

Blue collar workers and menial workers who often do not have many alternatives for accommodation are the major victims in this housing challenge.

After the Ullhawas building tragedy, the Centre for disaster management sent their recommendations to the district administration and highlighted that how basic flouting of rules to accommodate more tenants is resulting in the creation of unsafe structure. Urban villages like Chakkarpur, Sikanderpur, Wazirabad, Kanhai, Islampur, Nathupur, Sirhaul, Dundahera and Sukhrali have been named as certain urban villages where the rules of construction have been flouted.

With illegal and unsafe structures already a problem in the city owing to the deep nexus between public officials and builders, the contractors also cut corners to earn more profit. A major factor of saving costs is to use to the poor quality of construction material.

Off-late there have been certain demolitions that have taken up by the public agencies. Of such structures. To assure the citizen's various public agencies of Gurugram have also assured that building flouting the building norms will be dealt sternly.

Piyush Ohrie

Piyush Ohrie

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