March 2, 2020 9:47:15 pm
As many as 194 dwelling units of the Chandigarh Housing Board in Sector 41 where people are staying have been declared structurally unsafe for residential purpose by a team of engineers of the housing board.
There are 628 dwelling units in all there and as per the report, 31 per cent of them have been declared unsafe.
It was after various violations were committed by residents by making changes in their dwelling units that a team was constituted to check if the structures are structurally safe.
A team comprising executive engineers, sub-divisional engineers was constituted under the Superintending Engineer who inspected each and every dwelling unit.
In the report prepared by the team it was found that 174 residences have been found unsafe due to overloading of balconies where front terrace of the second floor was fully covered. There are some owners who have committed both the violations — covering of balconies and constructing additional storey as well.
Also, 76 dwelling units (some of those in 174 residences too) have been declared unsafe because of constructing additional storey.
At the same time, six houses have been found unsafe due to removal of load-bearing wall.
The committee concluded that it was of the view that those first dwelling units which have been declared unsafe for residential purpose are posing a threat to ground floor units as well as those beneath them.
While the dwelling units have been declared unsafe, residents of housing board are holding demonstrations seeking regularisation of their violations.
The Housing Board Welfare Federation has been demanding that they may be allowed 100 per cent regularisation of violations within boundary by implementing a one-time reasonable compounding fee on the owners of the units. They have also been demanding regularisation of construction made on incidental spaces by charging a reasonable compounding fee.
Since 1978, 62,400 dwelling units have been constructed in Chandigarh and allotted to Economically Weaker Section, Lower Income Group, Middle Income Group and Higher Income Group residents of the Union Territory. Around 2,50,000 citizens currently live in these units.
The housing board had last year given temporary relief from demolition to the residents who had been seeking regularisation. They had specified that certain need-based changes for dwelling units of Chandigarh Housing Board were permitted in February 2019 and the allottees/occupants were required to get their violations regularised in terms of given relaxation and remove all other violations which are not covered under this policy.
Subsequently, in the order passed during July 2019, the additional constructions in the dwelling units of Chandigarh Housing Board have been given temporary exemption from immediate demolition till December 31, 2020, subject to payment of penal charges.
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