THANKS TO the callous attitude of Chandigarh Estate Office and Chandigarh Municipal Corporation, rampant violations of laid down bye-laws are going unchecked in the residential areas across the city.
Claims of the authorities of keeping a check on violations of bye-laws hold no water. All it takes is a visit to different sectors of the city to find out how fake these assertions are. Throwing the building bye-laws to the winds, a large number of residents have made additions and alterations in their rear courtyard, front courtyard and top floor.
In the rear courtyard, servant room, bathroom, store and washing area have been constructed by putting a temporary roof or slab. Similarly, in the front courtyard, temporary roofs have been raised for car parking in violation of zoning. On the top floor, people have made additional rooms with a temporary roof. A large number of residents have extended their gates outside the zoning area for creating more parking space. Such additions and alterations are mostly common in less than 10-marla houses, especially in sectors 18, 19, 20, 21 and 22.
Due to encroachments, traffic flow is frequently obstructed in the internal sector roads due to the unfettered parking on both sides of the roads, leading to jams and chaos.
To address the problem of parking, which is one of the key reasons for violations, Vinod Joshi, a city-based architect, says that the administration should allow stilt parking (parking on the ground floor and construction on upper floors for residential purposes) on the pattern of Delhi and other cities.
However, UT assistant estate officer Prince Dhawan says that they can only issue notices for building violations and as the encroachment is on public land, it is the duty of MC to get it removed. “The problem is prevalent in a large number of sectors, especially Sector 22,” he says.
In houses constructed by the Chandigarh Housing Board in sectors 38, 40, 43, 44, 45, 46 and Manimajra, the residents have encroached upon government land by adding rooms beyond building line.
The enforcement wing of CHB had last month launched a drive to remove such violations in sectors 45 and 46 but was forced to stop the drive after interference of the area councillor.
To maintain uniformity across the city, Federation of Sector Welfare Associations Chandigarh chairman Baljinder Singh Bittu has urged the residents not to violate the norms. He has also requested the administration for framing a policy to address these problems.
With no check, Hedges and Fences Bye-laws of Chandigarh Municipal Corporation are being flouted with impunity. The residents in several sectors have illegally occupied government land around their residences in the name of beautifying the area. As per the norms, permission is to be sought for raising of hedges\ences on V-5 and V-6 roads.
The distance of hedges\fences on V-5 and V-6 roads from the nearest road edge shall be 10 feet and 6 feet, respectively. No hedges are allowed on V-3 and V-4 roads. The hedges and fences raised without permission or in contravention of bye-laws are to be removed at the defaulters’ cost.
On V6 roads in sectors 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 15, 18, 19, 20, 21 and 22, a large number of residents have developed roadside pavements into green belts and have also encroached upon pavements meant for pedestrians. MC joint commissioner Rajiv Gupta says it is the responsibility of the engineering wing to get the encroachments removed.
MC chief engineer Mukesh Anand was not available for comment despite repeated attempts. MC councillor Surinder Bahga stresses the need for strict enforcement of bye-laws across the city.
There are 56 sectors in Chandigarh divided into four parts — A, B, C and D — by a V-4 road (meandering shopping streets) running from east to west and a V-5 (sector circulation roads) road running from north to south. There are 3,000-4,000 houses in each sector depending upon its size.