While it is corruption in the name of construction, there appears to be a strong nexus between deep-pocketed construction companies and politicians as well as bureaucrats to run FAR-based construction projects in Delhi’s group housing societies.
By Rakesh Raman
As the extended building construction work under the dubious FAR (floor area ratio) rules of the government is disturbing thousands of Dwarka residents, the affected people complain that the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) is encouraging the construction-related crime.
In a new case, the residents of a cooperative group housing society (R. D. Apartments, Plot 20, Sector 6, Dwarka, Delhi) have informed RMN News Service that some DDA official(s) have granted illegal sanction in their building for extended construction under FAR rules.
The residents allege that “the sanction order is in flagrant violation of the provisions of Unified Building Bye Laws-2016 and it is a blatant, deliberate and intentional dereliction of duty / abuse of power for unstated quid pro quo by the officials of building section of DDA at Vikas Sadan, New Delhi in granting sanction.”
While the case is about the DDA’s File no: F23(34)94/Bldg./11 dated 30.05.2017, the complainants reveal that the DDA official approving the case is Mr. Rajesh Kumar, Asstt. Director (Arch.), Building Section C&I, Unit II, DDA and the Signing Architect is S. L. Beriwal, CA/86/10011.
In order to take DDA’s response in this case, RMN News Service wrote an email requesting the DDA to investigate the whole matter and send its response by August 29, 2017. However, DDA preferred to stay silent.
In their letter dated August 27, 2017 written to the vigilance department of DDA and other officials of the Ministry of Urban Development, the residents of R. D. Apartments have quoted a slew of Unified Building Bye Laws (UBBL-2016) that the managing committee (MC) of their Society has brazenly broken but the DDA officials granted sanction – which is illegal.
Corruption in Construction
Today, the extended construction activity under the harmful FAR rules of the government is spreading like a pandemic disease in Delhi’s cooperative group housing societies.
As a result, many innocent residents – including children, men, women, including senior citizens – are spending sleepless nights because they are not able to deal with the corrupt managing committees (MCs) of their societies which are hell-bent to make Delhi a veritable hell with avoidable construction and resulting dust and noise pollution.
It is believed that most such construction projects are supported by builder mafia, as the total FAR-based construction work in Dwarka alone is worth hundreds of crores of rupees.
While it is corruption in the name of construction, there appears to be a strong nexus between deep-pocketed construction companies and politicians as well as bureaucrats to run these FAR construction projects.
The aggrieved residents – including senior citizens – have approached various government departments such as the office of the Lt. Governor of Delhi, chief minister’s office, Urban Development Ministry, and pollution control boards, but their requests to get the FAR construction stopped have fallen on deaf ears.
Residents allege that along with DDA, the office of Delhi government’s Registrar Cooperative Societies (RCS) is among the most corrupt departments that has failed to take any action against the corrupt managing committees (MCs).
Most people argue that the permission to allow additional construction in occupied group housing societies is illegal because it violates the fundamental rights guaranteed to the citizens in the Constitution of India.
The Article 21 of Indian Constitution assures the citizens of India the right to a healthy, pollution-free environment – which is also a basic human right. If the avoidable construction is carried out in the group housing complexes where people – men, women, and children – are already living, it will deprive them of their right to live in a clean environment.
The National Green Tribunal (NGT) of India – established under India’s constitutional provision of Article 21 – has also observed that one of the major sources of air pollution is dust emission from construction activities, which must be stopped to avoid pollution-related diseases and deaths.
However, the politicians and bureaucrats are working in a totally irresponsible manner as they are not taking any steps to stop construction-related dust and noise pollution.
If any government exists in Delhi and it wants to save its own people, it must immediately stop FAR construction in group housing societies.
The government must clarify its stand on extended construction through advertisements in leading newspapers and information on government’s own websites.
Moreover, the Delhi Government must also change the Cooperative Societies Rules so that the MCs should be allowed to use the majority vote only for simple, non-financial decisions, and not to impose their ill will on others, as is happening in the FAR construction projects.
By Rakesh Raman, who is a government’s National award-winning journalist. He had been associated with the United Nations (UN) through United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) as a digital media expert to help businesses use technology for brand marketing and business development. He also runs a free school for deserving children under his NGO – RMN Foundation.
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