Formulated nearly 30 years ago to cater to a population of 62 lakh, Delhi's building bylaws are being openly flouted by the city's nearly 1.8 crore population.
Though the city's population and its social structure has changed dramatically over the years, no changes have been made to the unified building bylaws formed in 1983.
As a result, people have been resorting to illegal and unsafe constructions all over the city.
According to the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD), there has been a sharp decline in the number of joint families with most residents wishing to divide their property and carry out further construction activities. However, this is not allowed under the building bylaws.
Not only this, under the Master Plan of Delhi 2021 too, there is no provision for allowing sub-division of plots for plotted developments such as Greater Kailash, in Delhi.
The MCD has sent a proposal to the Delhi government for allowing sub-division of plots, which has been sent to the urban development ministry for approval.
"We have asked the government to allow sub-division of plots in unauthorised colonies that have been regularised to curb illegal construction," said Deep Mathur, director, press and information, MCD.
There are a total of 567 unauthorised colonies that have been regularised in the city.
Apart from not being able to get building plans passed for smaller plots, property owners are also unable to get plans passed for individual floors.
"Though the court has permitted the MCD to sanction floor-wise building plans but there are a lot of practical problems in implementing it. One has to get a No Objection Certificate (NOC) from all the floor owners which can be a tedious task," said a senior MCD official.
The civic agency admits that as it is not allowed to process building plans for sub-divided plots as it leads to illegal construction.
"Only bigger size plots are allowed to get a building plan sanctioned. However, in today's time constructing a number of flats on a single plot is the norm. If we won't allow that people will resort to illegal construction," added the official.
The MCD says if permission is granted for sub-division of plots it will be able to earn an additional R500 crore every year by constructing new flats.
Top official ignored report on illegal constructions
Krishna Nagar Extension, Baldev Park , Anarkali, Rashid Market, Arjun Nagar and many more adjoining areas are Lalita Parks in the making.
The rampant illegal constructions being carried out in east Delhi colonies might meet the same fate as the building which collapsed in Lalita Park on Monday, killing 67 persons.
According to an inspection carried out by the vigilance team of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi in August this year, a copy of which is with Hindustan Times, the vigilance team had found illegal construction in as many as 131 properties.
Though a report on these 131 properties, with details about the area, addresses of the buildings and the kind of violation that had taken place in those buildings, was sent to the deputy commissioner of the Shahdara (South) zone in October itself, no action has been initiated till now.
The survey was conducted by the vigilance team of the MCD with complaints of illegal constructions pouring in from all quarters.
"In most of the 131 properties, we found that illegal construction was being carried out. Our main objective of the survey was to ensure that the illegal activities could be stopped but that has not happened till date," said a senior MCD official requesting anonymity.
The official added that in most of these buildings, the builder was adding fourth or fifth floor.
"As all these additional floors are illegal, the builders carry out the construction in a hurry. Our inspections were carried out in August and by now all these constructions must be over," added the official.
The inspection was carried out by the vigilance team in five days time.
"If in merely five days we were able to detect so many illegal constructions, one can only imagine the magnitude at which illegal constructions are being carried out in such unauthorised colonies that have been regularised," said a senior MCD official.