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Red tape holds up dangerous MG Road building

Living on the edge Building owner claims that he is yet to get permission to demolish structure,officials pass the buck.

Living on the edge Building owner claims that he is yet to get permission to demolish structure,officials pass the buck.

The endless blame game between the civic agency and owner of a tilted building that is on the verge of collapse on Mehrauli-Gurgaon Road has ensured that Vikram Singh,who lives next door,has lost faith in the corporation’s grievance redressal mechanism.

Since the civic agency did not make any attempt to demolish the structure,Singh has shifted the residential area to the rear of the property.

“With children and old women in house,I cannot risk living in the front part of my property. Any mishap can take place as the stones keep falling and cement slabs slip down towards my house. I filed a complaint with the South Zone office of South municipal corporation and made calls every month to remind them of the complaint,but to no avail,” Singh said.

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The property,known as 0 MG Road,was sealed in 2006 and half-demolished by the erstwhile Municipal Corporation of Delhi,which intended to make it ‘uninhabitable and non-operational’. A few other buildings were also partially demolished and their owners are still trying to get the corporation’s approval to remove the dangerous parts of their properties.

The corporation says it is the duty of the owners to demolish the structure if it is dangerous. Yet,it has not given owners permission to do so,for over two years now.

When contacted,senior Building department officials quoted provisions of the Delhi Municipal Corporation Act. “For all the buildings that have been half-demolished,we raised a bill for demolition in the name of the owner. We pasted a notice or two on the sealed and demolished properties,asking owners to demolish it or apply for de-sealing so that they could remove the dangerous portions of their buildings. We cannot bear the expense of the demolition,so we wrote to the owners to demolish the properties,” a senior official said.

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The officials at the Building department said it is the owners’ responsibility to demolish unauthorised construction.

When asked about the owner and his address,officials said that they did have a name but not the address as the notice is pasted on the property which was demolished. Newsline traced the owner of 0 MG Road — Ravi Sharma — and spoke to him about the situation.

When asked why he did not ensure that the building will not harm neighbours or vehicles,Sharma said he had met officials and filed requests to allow him to demolish the dangerous building. “I met senior officials in the Building department and told them about the status of the building but have not got approval from the corporation. We have filed requests for demolition several times,” Sharma said.

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When contacted,Ashok Kumar,South Zone Deputy Commissioner directed Newsline to an official who is not even in charge of the case.

This official said he did not know about the case. “Works department is carrying out a survey of dangerous buildings and if this building is dangerous,it will be pulled down,” the official said.

On February 28,2006,the civic agency had raised a bill of Rs 10,500 — for partial demoltion of 0 MG Road — in the name of Ved Prakash Choudhary,the owner according to corporation records. Officials claim the civic agency does not have the address of the owner,other than the partially demolished building.

South corporation Commissioner Manish Gupta said: “The zonal office should handle the matter.”

M/s Grant Estates (P) Ltd,the owners of MG 1,a building whose facade was demolished,have submitted a structure safety certificate to get the structure de-sealed. “We put in a request two months ago,for letting us construct the facade,but we are yet to get any response,” one of the owners of the building said. A senior official confirmed that the file of MG 1 has been sent to headquarters for approval of their request of repairing or removing the demolished facade.

First published on: 07-03-2013 at 00:46 IST
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