Delhi facing unhealthy living due to illegal buildings, says High Court

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Published: October 4, 2017 6:38:41 PM

Delhi will have to pay a huge price for "unhealthy and unhygienic" living as 90 per cent of the buildings here are illegal, the Delhi High Court has been told.

Delhi, Delhi High Court, Buildings, Gita Mittal, illegal buildingsDelhi will have to pay a huge price for “unhealthy and unhygienic” living as 90 per cent of the buildings here are illegal, the Delhi High Court has been told.(Image: IE)

Delhi will have to pay a huge price for “unhealthy and unhygienic” living as 90 per cent of the buildings here are illegal, the Delhi High Court has been told.  The “magnitude of the illegal construction is huge,” a three-member expert panel, set up by the high court to look into illegal constructions, has told a bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar.  Holding the government and the civic bodies responsible for the “current mess”, the committee has said that “the city will pay a huge price in unhealthy and unhygienic living for the generations to come”.  The panel, however, said that “redemption was still possible”.

In an over 200-page report, it has said that out of an estimated 4-4.5 million structures in Delhi, “it can safely be said that at least 90 per cent carry one kind of violation of the extant building bye-laws or another”.  “The violations range from construction without sanctioned plans to construction on open lands marked in layout/location plan as belonging to the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) or the Delhi government,” the panel has said.  The court on May 16 had appointed former CBI director D R Karthikeyan, ex-India Habitat Centre (IHC) Director R M S Liberhan and retired district judge Ravinder Kaur as members of the committee.  It had directed them to inspect the properties of all the three municipal bodies here and file a report in six weeks.

The court’s direction had come after it was flooded with several PILs alleging presence of illegal constructions in all corners of the national capital.  The PILs also sought that a criminal case be registered against the officials of the corporation, who had allegedly allowed such constructions to take place.  Pursuant to the court’s May 16 direction, the panel submitted the report in which it also said that the problem was compounded further by the age of various colonies, ranging from over 100 years to the recent times.  The report has said that the problem was not just confined to unauthorised colonies but was also present in the planned ones, apart from urban villages whose boundaries are not permanently defined “and the regularised colonies whose legacies are illegal and in a sense, self-perpetuating”.

It has said that the committee went around the city and saw that in an area where there is supposed to be no construction at all, there was a resident population of 1.5 million living in structures and shelters of various sizes.  It has also said that some of the settlements were even approved by the government.  “If the government and its agencies are violators of the zonal plans, who will come to the rescue of law enforcement,” it added.  Delhi facing unhealthy living due to illegal buildings:HC told It has said that unless the MCD, as the owners of the public spaces, exercise control and supervision on these areas, they will be lost to the “unscrupulous”.

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