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Thursday, September 16, 2021

UT highly vulnerable to earthquakes, unauthorised violations may pose threat to human life: CHB

Just ahead of the Lok Sabha elections of 2019, the BJP had announced regularisation of the need-based changes, as made in nearly 50,000 dwelling units of the board by the residents. The CHB had given a nod to need-based changes despite a report specifying that the alterations made do not satisfy the basic seismic requirements

Written by Hina Rohtaki | Chandigarh |
September 8, 2021 6:21:15 am
The issue regarding regularisation of building violations in CHB flats and one time settlement on Delhi pattern was raised in the last meeting of the Administrator's Advisory Council held on February 10, and numerous requests/representations have also been received from time to time.

Chandigarh has high vulnerability to earthquakes as it lies in Seismic Zone-IV and unauthorized violations may pose a threat to the human life,” stated the Chandigarh Housing Board while discussing the issue of regularisation of violations of Chandigarh Housing Board on the pattern of Delhi in its board meeting scheduled to be held Wednesday.

“Regarding the requests to allow one-time settlement for all the existing violations and to follow the Delhi Pattern where some of the violations were regularized on payment of certain composition fee, it is submitted that Chandigarh is a planned city with the unique architecture character and may not be comparable with Delhi. Also, Chandigarh has high vulnerability to earthquakes as it lies in Seismic Zone-IV and unauthorized violations may pose a threat to the human life and public property,” it was specified in the agenda.

It was also said that “It may be lead to issues with regard to basic requirements like light, ventilation, zoning of the area, street picture and structure stability of the existing structure etc. Some of the citizens have raised voice against allowing of further Need Based Changes saying that regularization of violations gives undue incentives for further violations and adversely affects the quality of life in residential areasThe matter is placed before the Board for consideration and decision.”

The issue regarding regularisation of building violations in CHB flats and one time settlement on Delhi pattern was raised in the last meeting of the Administrator’s Advisory Council held on February 10, and numerous requests/representations have also been received from time to time.

Most of the violations are in the nature of additional floors, additional rooms, extra washrooms, extension of kitchen, extended/extra balconies and other alterations.

Further, a considerable number of allottees have projected cantilevers on the government land and constructed balcony/stairs/bathrooms on such projected cantilevers.

Earlier, a detailed exercise was undertaken by the Chandigarh Housing Board to cover maximum possible violations in consultation with the Engineering and Architect Divisions of the Administration.

The Board of CHB in its 410th meeting held on April 17, 2018, constituted a Committee vide order No. 100 dated April 26, 2018. The committee comprised Secretary, CHB, Chief Engineer, CHB, Chief Architect, UT or his representative,Architect, CHB EE(Design), CHB EE (Public Health), CHB EE (Electrical), CHB EE (Enforcement), CHB President of CHB Resident Welfare Federation.

Recommendations of the Committee were examined by the Chandigarh Administration and certain need based changes have been allowed vide order No. 59 dated February 15, 2019.

Submission of structural certificate and revised plans from the empanelled Architects /Structural Engineers and payment of charges have been prescribed for regularization of some of the Need Based Changes.

These Need Based Changes have been allowed in relaxation of Chandigarh Building Rules (Urban), 2017 with the approval of Governor Punjab and Administrator UT.

IN 2019 STUDY HAD SAID ALTERATIONS NOT SAFE
Just ahead of the Lok Sabha elections of 2019, the BJP had announced regularisation of the need-based changes, as made in nearly 50,000 dwelling units of the board by the residents.

The Chandigarh Housing Board had given a nod to need-based changes in its dwelling units despite a report from consultants, roped in to assess the structural stability, specifying that the alterations made do not satisfy the basic seismic requirements ie these dwelling units are highly vulnerable to earthquakes. The need-based changes were to be approved only after ascertaining structural stability of the dwelling units.
Punjab Engineering College was hired to assess the structural stability of the same, while the study was conducted by Civil Engineering Department. In a confidential report accessed by Chandigarh Newsline, it was found that these changes do not satisfy basic seismic requirements and certain specifications were required to qualify these requirements, which are crucial in ensuring structural stability of the building.

The report specified,“The existing buildings of Chandigarh Housing Board under evaluation for alterations do not satisfy seismic requirements even for category B of masonry buildings. As such, all additions and alterations to the present structures do not satisfy seismic requirements under present conditions and hence, need to be strengthened in accordance with relevant provisions of IS 4326-2013. As per IS 4326-2013, various masonry buildings have been categorised as B, C, D, E.”

Just ahead of the Lok Sabha elections of 2019, BJP had announced regularisation of the need-based changes, as made in nearly 50,000 dwelling units of the board by the residents. Approval of need-based was a poll issue this time as it affect people living in all these units, who also constitute a major vote bank. These residents flouted rules by making alterations in these units.

A survey of 61,067 CHB dwelling units revealed that 90 per cent people made changes to their units. As the CHB started sending notices to people for violations, representations from residents were sent to the board and local MP Kirron Kher, who then took up the issue.

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