Carelessness of Delhi Govt Increases Fire Risk at DPS Housing Society

Illegal Car Parking at DPS Housing Society, Sector 4, Dwarka, New Delhi. These cars obstruct the movement of fire brigade and ambulance in the case of any emergency. Click the photo to read the story.
Illegal Car Parking at DPS Housing Society, Sector 4, Dwarka, New Delhi. These cars obstruct the movement of fire brigade and ambulance in the case of any emergency. Click the photo to read the story.

DPS Cooperative Group Housing Society, Plot No. 16, Sector 4, Dwarka, Phase I, New Delhi 110 078.         

As cars are parked on the pathways meant for the movement of vehicles, it will not be possible for the fire brigade to bring the fire apparatus inside the building to extinguish fire.

By Rakesh Raman

Notwithstanding a number of complaints from the residents, the Delhi Fire Service and other Delhi Government departments have not taken any steps to stop the illegal car parking at DPS Housing Society which is posing serious risk to the people in the event of fire.

The residents also complain that their repeated requests to the managing committee (MC) of the DPS Housing Society to resolve the parking issue have fallen on deaf ears.

Last month, a senior citizen and other residents of the Society met the Chief Fire Officer Mr. Vipin Kental of Delhi Fire Service and submitted a formal representation to get a physical inspection of the building done and illegal car parking removed to prevent the possibility of a serious mishap.

But Delhi Fire Service has ignored the request and illegal car parking persists, which has put to risk lives of about 400 people living in the Society building.

Worse, the Chief Fire Officer and his colleagues told the DPS Housing Society residents that this illegal car parking problem is happening in many society buildings of Dwarka and Delhi Fire Service does not have the resources to stop this unlawful activity.

Letter from a senior citizen to get illegal car parking removed. Delhi Fire Service ignored the letter.
Letter from a senior citizen to get illegal car parking removed. Delhi Fire Service ignored the letter.

Residents argue that as per Unified Building Bye Laws for Delhi 2016, the hard surface building approach to all around must be 6.0 metre width and 9.0 metre turning circle at corner – which is not being followed at DPS Housing Society because that surface is now occupied by illegal car parking.

No Space for Firefighting Vehicles

Obviously, if cars are parked on the pathways meant for the movement of vehicles, it will not be possible for the fire brigade to bring the fire apparatus inside the building to extinguish fire.

Consequently, the risk of fatalities has increased manifold. People complain that the congested car parking in the Society has left no space for the entry of firefighting vehicles in the event of fire in the building.

As the successive managing committees (MCs) of the Society are part of the parking racket, they have been blatantly defying even the court orders and allow other law-breaking residents to park their multiple cars inside the building.

The Delhi High Court has ruled that only one car per flat will be allowed in housing society parking lots. But the DPS Housing Society MCs have brazenly decided to ignore the court orders and now cars stand cheek by jowl in such a way that the movement in the building is completely obstructed.

Illegal car parking at DPS Cooperative Group Housing Society in Dwarka, New Delhi can cause fire mishaps. Click the photo to read the story. Photo by Rakesh Raman, May 2017.
Illegal car parking at DPS Cooperative Group Housing Society in Dwarka, New Delhi can cause fire mishaps. Click the photo to read the story. Photo by Rakesh Raman

Similarly, it will not be possible for the ambulance to enter the building because the additional cars parked on the lanes will obstruct its entry. In the case of any health emergency, people living in the Society may face serious consequences – and even death – because of the negligence of the DPS Housing Society MC members and the additional car owners.

Residents have also complained about this problem repeatedly to the office of Registrar Cooperative Societies (RCS), which is supposed to control the rogue MCs. But RCS office – which seems to be working hand in glove with the MC members – did not take any action.

Moreover, when a couple of months ago Delhi Police – under the directions from the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) – came to check illegal car parking in the DPS Housing Society building, the MC members hoodwinked the police by saying that only RCS rules apply on them.

Strangely, Delhi Police accepted this weird argument and did not bother to get the illegal car parking stopped. Although the Assistant Director (Vigilance) of the Delhi Police informed the RCS office, the RCS office, as usual, did not take any action against the MC of DPS Housing Society.

Mysterious Protection from RCS Office

During the past about a decade, the successive MCs of DPS Housing Society have been committing numerous illegal activities under the mysterious protection that they enjoy from the RCS office.

As an excuse to protect the lawless MC members, the RCS office gives a big importance to the decisions of the General Body Meetings (GBMs). But despite receiving repeated complaints from the affected members, the RCS office has refused to realize the fact that GBMs have become a big fraud at DPS Housing Society.

For example, the MC’s permission to allow illegal car parking to about 40 members is a kind of bribe to those members to win their vote and support in elections and GBMs – and thus get even the illegal decisions approved by the majority of members – which is in fact a group of law-breaking members.

[ Also Read: DDA Corruption Increasing in Delhi Housing Societies ]

Similarly, to fraudulently win members’ support, the MC has allowed illegal building alterations in individual flats. Thus, all GBMs which are mostly attended by such rogue members are bogus. Multiple objections have been raised by the aggrieved members about the faulty process of holding GBMs but strangely the RCS office has always ignored them.

In a recent case of labour rights violation, Delhi Government’s office of Labour Commissioner has issued a notice dated 25.9.2017 to the MC. The notice is addressed to the President of the Society Neeraj Vaish while other past and present MC members (such as present Secretary M.N. Sampathkumar and past President M.M. Shukla) are also accused in the case.

The MC ignored the Labour Commissioner office notice with the excuse that it will only follow RCS orders. Although RCS office has been formally informed about this labour exploitation case, it failed to take any action against the MC members.

When a group of senior citizens requested the RCS office to save them from dust and noise pollution that will come from the planned construction activity at the DPS Housing Society, the RCS office again did not take any action against the MC members. People fail to understand the secret behind RCS officials’ extreme attachment with the MC members of DPS Housing Society.

But now the residents of the DPS Housing Society expect the RCS office, Delhi Police, and Delhi Fire Service to act and get the illegal car parking removed permanently from the Society building. The sooner the better.

By Rakesh Raman, who is a government’s National award-winning journalist and social activist. He has formed an environment-protection group called Green Group in Delhi. He also runs a free school for deserving children under his NGO – RMN Foundation.

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Rakesh Raman