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Chandigarh: More than 90 per cent automobile agencies violate building bye-laws, reveals survey

There are a total of 52 agencies dealing in cars and two-wheelers operating from Phase I and Phase II of Industrial Area

Written by Vinod Kumar | Chandigarh |
August 29, 2016 2:58:15 am
PASCO car showroom in Industrial Area Phase 1, Chandigarh.  Express Photo by Jasbir Malhi PASCO car showroom in Industrial Area Phase 1, Chandigarh. Express Photo by Jasbir Malhi

A SURVEY carried out by the UT Estate Office has revealed that more than 90 per cent of automobile agencies have constructed unauthorised structures on their premises in violation of building bye-laws.

There are a total of 52 agencies dealing in cars and two-wheelers operating from Phase I and Phase II of Industrial Area. Out of the total, 37 are in Phase I, of which premises of only two are as per sanctioned building plan. In Phase II, only three agencies were found complying with the sanctioned building plan.

The survey was ordered after Chandigarh Newsline highlighted glaring building bye-laws violations committed in a showroom running multiple automobile agencies, Harbir Automobiles, in Phase I of Industrial Area.

The majority of the agencies, including of leading car manufacturers, have made alterations in their building plans, thus violating building bye-laws and building zoning line. In some cases, construction on the plot is more than the permitted floor area ratio (FAR). FAR is the ratio of the total floor area of a building to the area of land it is built on. Some of the agencies have also installed mobile towers and car lift and steal railings in place of boundary walls.

As per the inspection report, Pasco Motors located at plot number 2, Industrial Area Phase I, tops the list with 15 listed violations. The agency has constructed unauthorised temporary sheds beyond zoning area on the rear and front side. These sheds are being used for workshop, washing vehicles, office, store, security room. A brick wall has been constructed to make a division in the plot.

Amit Arora, general manager of Pasco Motors, told Chandigarh Newsline that they had taken the plot on rent and all the construction was already there when they shifted in 2000. “We have not constructed any structure,” said Arora, adding that he was not aware that the structures were unauthorised.

Berkeley Tata Motors and Suzuki Automobile located on plot number 5 in Industrial Area Phase I has divided the plot into two parts. The agency has also raised unauthorised temporary shed constructed on the rear as well as front side beyond zoning area. Ranjeev Dahuja, of Berkeley Motors, accepted to have made minor alternations which can be removed. “We will remove the temporary structures. We had to raise them out of compulsion,” he said.

The estate office will now send notices to all the agencies for removing the violations. “We want them to first remove the structures on their own. If they fail, then notices will be issued against them,” said UT Deputy Commissioner Ajit Balaji Joshi.

Coming in defence of the automobile agencies, B S Saluja, president of Chandigarh Car Dealers Association, said that they had deviated from sanctioned building plan out of compulsion and not by choice. “The existing building norms are not conducive for trade. The bye-laws need to be reviewed,” he said. He, however, said that they do not support any blatant violation which cannot be covered under need-based change.

Action awaited

NEARLY six months after blatant violations of building plans were spotted at main showroom of Harbir Automobiles, the estate office has failed to get the violations removed. The owner is running dealerships of multiple automobiles on corner plot 182\ near Ordinance Cable Factory, measuring 3 kanals. “Action will be taken against everyone. We will not let anyone off the hook,” claimed Joshi.

Common violations

  • Unauthorised temporary and permanent sheds constructed on rear and front side
  • Unauthorised division of plots
  • Internal partitions
  • Construction beyond zoning area
  • Construction on plot more than allowed FAR
  • Boundary walls replaced with steel railings
  • Mobile towers erected without permission

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