Gurgaon: Private hospitals, malls misusing basement area, RTIs reveal
Replies to RTI queries reveal that instead of the approved parking area, basements are being used to carry out commercial operationsgurgaon Updated: Jul 12, 2017 22:54 IST
Private hospitals and malls in the city are misusing their basement areas to carry out commercial activities, according to replies to RTI queries by city residents.
In building plans, basements are approved as parking spaces of the establishments, including hospitals. However, the Haryana urban development authority (Huda) said in a RTI reply that basements are being used for labs and offices in many hospitals.
In the absence of parking areas, vehicles are parked on roads in a city that already has limited public parking spaces.
An RTI query in this regard was filed in November by Gurgaon resident Aseem Takyar. He received a reply last month. It said that as reported on June 22, 2017 by the junior engineer and subdivisional engineer (survey) of Huda office, three leading hospitals “are misusing their basement area in reference to approved building plan by converting into lab and offices,” Vivek Kalia, estate officer II of Huda, Gurgaon, said in the reply.
The roads leading to these important hospitals are always packed with vehicles, alleged Takyar, adding that the space should be freed to provide easy access in case of an emergency.
Last Thursday, Bhure Lal, chairman of the Environment Pollution Control Authority (EPCA), had also asked the district administration to take effective steps to remove roadside parking and make it mandatory for every establishment to have parking facility inside the premises. “Vehicles parked on roads across the city cause traffic congestion, which increases pollutants in the air,” he said.
Last September, Raman Malik, a BJP spokesperson, had also filed an RTI query regarding illegal establishments on the ground floors of malls and commercial towers. He alleged that 90% of malls, hospitals and commercial towers are flouting the terms and conditions of the building plans. He had also complained to then deputy commissioner Hardeep Singh on the issue.
“As per the project approval, the (ground-floor) areas cannot be monetised. No commercial activity is allowed in these areas, but no rules are being followed by the commercial units,” he said.
In reply to Malik’s RTI query, the district town planning (DTP) department said “no compiled information is available”. Malik had asked for the number of hospitals, educational and commercial establishments making direct or indirect commercial use of areas sanctioned for service and parking purposes.
“We are aware of the issue and all these commercial establishments will soon be removed from malls and hospitals,” said Rajender Sharma, DTP (enforcement), Huda. The hospitals declined to comment on the matter.