Even as the administration swooped down on Sector 17E’s 51 showroom buildings to remove illegal boards and other building violations, its plan of ‘leading by example’ remains a mere verbal claim.
The estate office has loose wires and non-permitted paint on its facade, and even a brick wall on its back towards Bank Square — testimony to years of neglect of the building rules even by the powers that be. Even the 30 Bays Building, which has offices of state governments and has seen fire mishaps due to short-circuit, has its verandah and balconies covered by wooden walls. Almirahs line the balconies in both buildings, creating fire hazards besides spoiling the aesthetics.
There is also blackening of the exposed concrete on most buildings owned or occupied by the governments of Punjab and Haryana.
Even at a Sector-17 rejuvenation project update meeting in the last week of April, where the UT adviser was present too, traders specifically raised the ‘lead-by-example’ issue. The buildings shortlisted then, as per at least officials present at the meeting, were the estate office and 30 Bays.
“Nothing has come of that. If the administration had looked within, and set the example, people would’ve learnt to comply and also known what to do. We distributed awareness pamphlets, but the technicalities were complex and people needed much more time than was given,” underlined Kamaljit Singh Panchhi, president of the Traders’ Association, Sector 17, one of at least three such associations in the sector.
While DC SB Deepak Kumar and adviser Vijay Kumar Dev did not take calls, SDM Prince Dhawan said, “We will indeed set estate office as an example. Details are being worked out.” He didn’t say why it wasn’t done earlier.