When they built the stilt parking lots for their vehicles nearly 30 years ago, they never imagined that the stilts could one day make them homeless. For, they are 3.35-metre high, while limit set by the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) is 2.4 metre.
Owners of 140 flats of a co-operative group housing society in east Delhi’s Indraprastha Extension are facing a demolition threat for exactly this reason. In fact, the MCD has made it clear that it will demolish any building, even those owned by individuals, if it finds any deviation from its rules.
The MCD issued a show-cause notice to Saraswati Group Housing Society Ltd on August 5, stating that the supporting pillars of the 140 flats would be demolished, which will bring the entire structure down.
According to real estate dealers, the market price of each flat in Saraswati is around R2 crore. There are altogether eight blocks in the society, consisting of 192 flats. Of them, five have stilt parking lots, which are under the MCD scanner now.
The residents are planning a meeting. “It is a very strange situation and we don’t really know what to do. We want to keep our flats intact even if we don’t get parking space,” said Vishal Bhaskar, a resident.
A senior MCD official said, “We have issued them a show-cause notice and they have time till tomorrow morning to send us a reply. We have also sent a requisition to the deputy commissioner of police (east), asking for police help from August 16 to September 15 so that we can start the demolition,”
The rest of the flats also have made certain deviations, such as covering the balcony or not leaving setbacks — mandatory open area along the boundary wall — as stipulated. Also, the architect of the society, Arvind Kumar Bhatnagar said a completion certificate had also not been obtained for the building.
The MCD said the decision was taken following the directions of the high court. “We will comply with the court’s directions,” said Deepak Hastir, deputy commissioner of Shahdara (south) zone of MCD.