Saturday's building collapse has once again raised the issue of blatant flouting of norms by the private builders who are increasingly building small apartments and societies in various areas of Indirapuram, Shalimar Garden, Rajendra Nagar, Sahibabad, Vaishali and other areas.
"There is a nexus between some corrupt officials of the Ghaziabad Development Authority (GDA) and private builders. The maps, which are approved in writing, are seldom followed and rules are flouted by builders in connivance with officials to earn huge profits," Ghaziabad municipal councillor and social activist Rajendra Tyagi said.
For the past many years construction of private builder's flats in Ghaziabad is in full swing as more and more people from adjoining areas have recognised Ghaziabad as a major and affordable housing destination.
"Major violations are conducted in the basement section as builders generally charge a huge amount of money from buyers for parking space. This also leads to sacrificing of the building's structural safety aspects. You can easily find builder's flats where unauthorised construction takes place to accommodate more flats," Tyagi added.
Unauthorised constructions, other than those approved by GDA in their records, also take a heavy toll on sewage, parking space and compromise residents' safety. Officials said the Shalimar Garden incident happened due to the construction of an unapproved basement area and use of inferior quality material.
"A builder's structural engineer submits the plan for approval. It is the responsibility of the builder and his qualified engineer to supervise construction work at the site. We also take an undertaking from them in this regard and state that the GDA will have no responsibility in the matter," GDA's town planner Jyoti Prasad said.
However, social activists are of the view that the authority just cannot shirk its responsibility just because it manages to take an undertaking from the builder. "In today's incident, GDA officials are equally responsible as they take away a supervision charge. There has to be a legal action against the junior engineers of the GDA as well as of the builder's firm," said SK Maheshwari, another social activist.