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Greater Noida tragedy brings illegal construction into focus

Around 150 hectares of land have come under unauthorised construction in Shahberi alone, mostly because lower middle class families are lured by the relatively low rates offered by unscrupulous builders.

noida Updated: Jul 18, 2018 10:21 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Greater Noida
Shahberi,Illegal structures,Greater Noida
Rescue operations are on after two buildings collapsed in Greater Noida’s Shahberi village on Tuesday night. (Sunil Ghosh/HT Photo)

The collapse of two buildings at Shahberi on Tuesday night has once again swung the spotlight on the proliferation of unauthorised structures across Greater Noida over the last decade.

Rescue operations at the site were still on, as of Wednesday morning, and three bodies had already been extracted from the rubble. National Disaster Response Force personnel and local police teams said they were specifically trying to locate a family that had moved into one of the buildings.

Experts believe there are more disasters of the kind waiting to happen, unless timely action is taken.

Around 150 hectares of land have come under unauthorised construction in Shahberi alone, mostly because lower middle class families who move to urban centres are lured by the relatively low rates offered by unscrupulous builders.

In 2009-10, the Greater Noida Authority had acquired 3,635 hectares of land from about a dozen villages to form the Noida Extension area. Around 161.531 hectares of this land came from Shahberi village. Later, following a Supreme Court order delivered in October 2011, the land was returned to the farmers.

“Following this, the farmers either sold the land to builders or built illegal structures of their own without following building codes or obtaining mandatory approvals. Illegal buildings like these are located across 200 villages of Noida and Greater Noida. Disaster awaits if preventive steps are not taken right now,” said Atul Gupta, president of the Uttar Pradesh Architects Association (Gautam Budh Nagar chapter).

Police have detained a Ghaziabad-based builder in connection with the Shahberi tragedy, and are searching for another from Meerut.

First Published: Jul 18, 2018 10:18 IST