AT LEAST 36 showrooms — including two dozen nightclubs, bars and discos in Sector 7 and Sector 26 — have been found to be blatantly violating the Chandigarh Building Rules (Urban) that prohibit the covering of open backyards, constructions of kitchens, washrooms, and installation of long boards in the last six months.
However, despite several showcause notices being slapped, authorities have failed to actually crack the whip against such violations, with some such showroom owners even going to the extent of making desperate attempts to regularise their violations, under the guise of “need-based changes”, a senior UT officer said, requesting anonymity.
The officer told The Indian Express, “There are many cases related to violations of building bylaws which have been pending before concerned authorities for more than six years. The nature of most such violations are the same. The main reason behind this huge pendency is the excuse that the violations that were committed were by occupants and not the owners.”
The last inspection of the nightclubs, bars, and discos in Sector 7, 26 was held in in February and March this year by a team comprising SDO (building branch) of the estate office, Satish Kumar, and junior engineer, Sagar Saini, under the supervision of then assistant estate officer Harjeet Singh Sandhu.
A resident of the area, requesting anonymity, said, “The practice of conducting inspections, and issuing showcause notices against violators has been going on for the last many years. Though many nightclubs were sealed for reasons like serving hookahs, and staying open beyond permissible time, no action was taken against them for the building bylaws violations.”
A delegation of Sector 7 residents, accompanied by area councillor Mahesh Inder Singh Sidhu, had met Adviser Dharam Pal regarding ‘loud’ nightclubs’ on Wednesday, following which legal proceedings under Section 133 of CrPC were initiated against at least three establishments situated in Sector 7, besides a committee being formed to address complaints of locals related to noise pollution in Sector 7 and Sector 26.
SDO Satish Kumar said, “Most violations are related to ‘covered’ courtyards, which need to be open as per the Chandigarh Building Rules, 2017. We have found that courtyards are covered with temporary sheds, fiber sheets. A detailed report has been submitted to higher authorities and notices were issued against violators.”
SDM (East) Nitish Singla said, “After receiving the report from the building branch of the estate officer, we have issued showcause notices against all building owners on whose properties violations were detected. I have instructed my staff to issue separate notices to building owners and to the occupants. As per court proceedings, these violators need to be given time to file their response and also to correct the violations.”
Fire safety rules flouted
On July 27, the UT fire department had found several fire safety norms being violated in Kakuna nightclub that is located in Sector 7. A fire brigade team had found no fire fighting system on the first floor. They had also found fire extinguishers not to be in working conditions, automatic detection and alarm system out of order, manually operated electronic fire alarm system not working in the rest of the building. A notice was issued against the management of Kakuna, with a warning that if the shortcomings are not fixed then the establishment risked losing its food safety as well as liquor licences.
Loud nightclubs a source of constant menace
Many showroom owners have allowed nightclubs, discos to come up in their backyards, where concrete roofs cannot be constructed. The owners of such nightclubs have tried to mitigate the noise that emanates from their establishments on account of loud music being played by construction of temporary sheds and structures, which locals claim does nothing.
Police prepare a list of clubs, restaurants, discos
A team of Sector 26 police station on Friday visited all the nightclubs, bars, restaurants being operated in Sector 26 and Sector 7. The police team noted down the nature of the services being provided at these outlets. Sources said that a list was being prepared amid reports that certain outlets only had permission to serve food, but were also serving liquor.