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Building collapse: In Zirakpur, buildings occupied sans completion certificates

Not too far away from the site of Thursday’s building collapse, Royale Empire in Peer Muchalla is one such project where residents are living in an incomplete project.

punjab Updated: Apr 14, 2018 14:17 IST
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
Zirakpur,Building collapse,buildings occupied sans completion
At Aero Homes in Zirakpur’s Gazipur, the apartment building does not have a cemented terrace, allowing seepage of water into floors beneath, making the walls fragile.(Sant Arora/HT)

The collapse of a multi-storey building in Zirakpur on Thursday serves as an eye-opener for Zirakpur authorities and builders who have illegally allotted hundreds of apartments without obtaining completion and occupancy certificates.

“A completion certificate means that the builder has got all requisite security clearances, and that the construction has been done as per the approved layout plans,” said Surinder Bahga, a Chandigarh-based architect.

Not too far away from the site of Thursday’s building collapse, Royale Empire in Peer Muchalla is one such project where residents are living in an incomplete project.

More than 500 flats were planned in the project when it was launched in 2009-10.

Reema Sood, 35, a resident of Royale Empire, said, “I moved here with my family when the building did not have a permanent electricity connection, sewage connection, staircase railings, fire safety provisions, elevators or power backup. But we had no option but to move here as we had already spent all our savings in buying the apartment.”

“Eventually, residents got together to get some basic amenities. But even today, the lift ducts are open right till the seventh floor, and there is no fire safety provision here. The building does not even have a proper boundary wall or gates for security,” she said, adding that there were partly-constructed towers right adjacent to hers.

Jeevan Garg, one of the partners in Royale Empire, was not available for a comment.

In another project in Zirakpur — Aero Homes, Ghazipur — 237 families are living in constant fear.

Pramod Kumar Sharma, general secretary of the Residents’ Welfare Association, said, “The builder, NH Matcon, started giving possessions in 2016 without a completion certificate. Many retirees without any alternative place to go after retirement had no option but to take possession, while most trusted the builder’s promises. But, even today many of the works are incomplete.”

“We have serious concerns about the structure itself. A committee of PEC University of Technology, appointed by the Punjab State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission last year reported that quality of concrete column, electrical installation and general construction is poor,” he added.

Nitin Bansal of NH Matcon, responding to the residents’ allegations said, “We have applied for completion certificate for the last four years but the municipal council is sitting on it.”

On why possessions were given without completion certificate, he said, “Our project is complete and there are no issues here.”

On why several works, including fire safety system, elevators and roof tops, are yet to be completed, he said, “It’s actually some residents who have uprooted the fire extinguisher systems and dug up the roof tops. We had the requisite approval from the fire department.”

Despite the blatant violations, all Zirakpur municipal council executive officer Manvir Singh Gill said was, “It is a dispute between buyers and builders.” Though he agreed that it was not safe to live in the incomplete apartment buildings, he expressed helplessness, stating, “We can only make people aware about the dangers.”

First Published: Apr 14, 2018 14:16 IST