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Many more disasters waiting to happen

Lalita Park area in east Delhi has more disasters waiting to happen with most of the buildings submerged in Yamuna waters.

delhi Updated: Nov 16, 2010 00:25 IST
HT Correspondent

Lalita Park area in east Delhi has more disasters waiting to happen with most of the buildings submerged in Yamuna waters.

Yamuna floods weaken the foundation of buildings
More than two-kilometre radius around the Lalita Park area has been affected by the recent floods in Yamuna river. On Monday, barely a kilometre away from the building collapse site, a road also caved in, developing an eight-foot crater.

According to residents, the basements of most of the buildings in Lalita Park area are still under sub-soil water.

"Every building's basement in this colony is full of underground water. Though it happens every year, this year has been worse," said Poppy Haldar, a resident of Lalita Park .

The level of water had risen significantly this year due to the floods.

"All these colonies are very close to the riverbed. Due to constant seepage, the foundations of many buildings have weakened over the years. The basement of the building that collapsed on Monday was also submerged in waters for the past two months. People have been removing water on their own, but we will now ask the civic agency to pitch in," said AK Walia, urban development minister.

Construction mafia active in the area
The problem has been further compounded by the fact that most of the buildings in this colony have been constructed without getting a building plan sanctioned from the MCD. According to the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD), a number of property owners are unable to get their plans sanctioned due to rigid building bylaws.

"At present, plots can't be sub-divided and building plans also can't be sanctioned as there is no such provision under the building bylaws. A number of extended families have split up and divided their plots too. But they are not allowed to carry out construction on a smaller plot, which leads to illegal construction," said an MCD official.

The MCD had earlier sent a proposal to the Delhi government to allow sub-division of plots, and it was further sent to the urban development ministry.

Monitoring panel calls meeting
The Supreme Court-appointed monitoring committee on sealing of unauthorised commercial establishments had also raised concerns over the mushrooming of illegal construction in the Trans-Yamuna area.

"A meeting has been called on Friday in this regard. They had asked us to give a detailed list of buildings, where we had taken action," said a senior MCD official.