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Thane risk looms over city colony.

Civic agencies in the Capital are turning a blind eye to safety concerns of the very voters they are out to impress ahead of the polls as they go about in a tearing hurry to regularise illegal colonies.

A case in point is East Azad Nagar, the Capital's first unauthorised colony to benefit from chief minister Sheila Dikshit's generous plan to regularise such colonies in the city.

The layout plan for the colony proudly presented by the East Delhi Municipal Corporation ( EDMC) leaders last week, fails in its current form to take into account the structural safety of the individual buildings or even basic civic amenities such as sewer lines and water supply pipelines.

The layout plan has been approved by the layout scrutinising committee comprising the civic agency's town planner, officials from the Delhi Development Authority, the Delhi Fire Service, the traffic police and the ministry of urban development.

The suspect structural strength of these haphazardly constructed buildings in the colony spread over 3.3 acre and housing 83 families, comes into focus given the fact that the area is likely to see a spurt in constructions after the regularisation notification issued recently.

Residents in the area say they are more than happy to finally get recognition from the authorities, which will allow them to secure loans from banks for construction purposes.

But with rampant and haphazard construction work going on in these areas, there is always the danger of an existing building collapsing either by itself or because of the disturbances caused by construction or structural changes being made in a nearby building.

" Easy layout approval and regularisation of unauthorised colonies is inviting tragedy. The buildings by themselves look weak, how can a colony with not even a single building being cleared by a structural safety engineer, be passed?" Bhure Lal, * East Azad Nagar colony lacks facilities which are mandatory for an authorised colony in Delhi.

WHERE IT IS LOCATED Rohini Yamuna Dwarka CP EAST AZAD NAGAR DELHI CONUNDRUM- I COLONY EAST AZAD NAGAR COLONY chairperson of a Supreme Court appointed committee, said.

He added that while approving the layout plans of unauthorised colonies, the civic agencies should maintain these areas as strictly residential and not allow any commercial activity in it.

East Azad Nagar houses several eateries and sweet shops which are visited regularly by residents from nearby areas.

On the issue of structural safety of the buildings in the colony, Shurbir Singh, additional commissioner, EDMC said the corporation will initiate a drive to force all the inhabitants to apply for structural safety certificates.

Corporation officials say the reason why basic civic amenities have not been mentioned in the current layout plans is that providing civic amenities is part of development work that will take place in the area in future.

" There are considerations like providing space for electricity poles, water and sewer pipelines.

All of it will be carried out in future," Singh said.

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Publication:Mail Today (New Delhi, India)
Date:Apr 11, 2013
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