Is Architect Responsible for Illegal FAR Construction at R. D. Apartments?

Illegal Extended Construction Activity at R. D. Apartments in Sector 6 of Dwarka in New Delhi
Illegal Extended Construction Activity at R. D. Apartments in Sector 6 of Dwarka in New Delhi

While the illegal construction activity is happening at R. D. Apartments in Dwarka, Delhi, it is believed that the architect has worked hand in glove with the managing committee (MC) of the Society to submit the drawings / construction plan which flout the statutory guidelines.

In order to understand the architect’s role in the ongoing project, I wrote an email with the following text to the architect firm. However, there is no response so far. Therefore, I will now take this case to the higher authorities and law-enforcement agencies.

My email:

To

Ar. Shanker Lal Beriwal
Licenced Architect CA/1986 /10011, Approved Chartered Engineer & Valuer
S L Beriwal & Associates, 280, 1st Floor, Sham Nagar, Rani Bagh
Delhi 110 034

August 4, 2017

Subject: Submission / Sanctioned drawings / Building plan permit under UBBL-2016 for R. D. Apartments, Plot 20, Sector 6, Dwarka, New Delhi – 110075

Request: To restudy the drawings of submission / sanctioned / Building plan permit, and if required, please rectify.

Dear Sir,

Please let me introduce myself as a government’s National award-winning journalist. Besides working at senior editorial positions with India’s leading media companies, I had been writing an edit-page column for The Financial Express newspaper. Nowadays, I am running my own global news services on different subjects.

As I am also engaged in various social activities, I had started an environment-protection campaign in Dwarka / Delhi as part of my social services. While the current focus of the campaign is to stop the dust and noise pollution from the extended construction activity related to the ambiguous floor area ratio (FAR) rules in the group housing societies, hundreds of people have been supporting my campaign.

You can know about my campaigns at the following links:

[ Save the Senior Citizens of Dwarka from Lethal Dust Pollution ]

Link: http://www.ramanmedianetwork.com/save-the-senior-citizens-of-dwarka-from-lethal-dust-pollution/

[ Dust Pollution: Your Children Are Not Safe in Delhi ]

Link: http://www.ramanmedianetwork.com/dust-pollution-your-children-are-not-safe-in-delhi/

Now people from different group housing societies who oppose FAR-based extended construction are in contact with me and want me take up their case so they could live in a clean, pollution-free environment.

This particular case is of the R. D. Apartments, Plot 20, Sector 6, Dwarka, New Delhi – 110 075. I understand that as a Licensed Architect, Approved Chartered Engineer & Valuer, your firm has studied the feasibility in this housing society.

As the residents of this Society have expressed certain apprehensions, you are requested to carry out the feasibility study again, and if required submit the revised drawings again – taking into consideration the following aspects.

1. As per Unified Building Bye Laws (UBBL) for Delhi 2016, Clause 7.11.1.a, 11.6.a & Clause 8.4.3.c Table 8.1 indicates minimum width of staircase as 1.35 metres.

2. The Delhi Apartment Ownership Act 1986, 58 of 1986, Chapter 2, Section 4, 4(a) states the common area and facilities have permanent character and shall not be altered without the written consent of all the members.

3. As per Unified Building Bye Laws for Delhi 2016, Clause 8.2 b, the hard surface building approach to all around must be 6.0 metre width and 9.0 metre turning circle at corner.

4. As per Unified Building Bye Laws for Delhi 2016, Clause 8.4.3 e, handrails shall be provided with a minimum height of 1.0 metre from the centre of the tread.

5. As per Unified Building Bye Laws for Delhi 2016, Clause 7.11.o, lift shall not open in staircase landing. Clause 8.4.4, lift shall have a vent at top of area not less than 0.2 sqm.

6. And balconies with width above 2.0 metres considered in FAR as against the clause 7.2.4.1 (ii) of UBBL 2016.

7. The traffic circulation, essential car space / parking, pathways, landscapes, lawns, trees shall not be infringing each other.

8. Calculation of FAR and ground coverage shall be taken at outer surface of structural columns with reference to Clause 1.4.57 of UBBL-2016.

9. As per Table 3.3, S.No. 5 of UBBL-2016, for the Air Quality and Noise the environmental condition is Dust Smoke & Debris prevention measures, such as screen, barricading must be installed at the site during construction. Plastic, tarpaulin sheet covers must be used for trucks bringing in sand and material at site.

10. Section 30 of Architect Act 1972: On the receipt of a complaint made to it, the Council is of the opinion that the Architect has been guilty of professional misconduct, which if proved will render them unfit to practise as an architect, the Council may hold an inquiry in such manner as prescribed by rules.

11. As per UBBL-2016 Annexure XII Part B Serial. No iv, in case of any discrepancy or misrepresentation surfaced, necessary action including revocation of sanction will be initiated together with referring the lapses to concerned department for taking disciplinary action against the defaulting architect and applicant.

In view of the above-stated points, please certify that at least all the above requirements are met, as the managing committee (MC) of the Society has already embarked upon FAR-related construction activity despite vigorous opposition from some residents. The said construction without following the statutory norms will be illegal as it will pose serious threat to the lives of people and their property.

In particular, if the ongoing extended construction activity at the the R. D. Apartments contravened any of the above or other stipulated Unified Building Bye Laws, a penal action may be taken for violation of Provision of Bye Laws. It will include issues such as coverage, FAR, open spaces, parking norms, light and ventilation provisions, other provisions, staircase, etc. and shall have to be rectified by altering / demolishing the structures at the risk and cost of the concerned parties.

You are therefore requested to restudy the drawings and, if required, submit the revised report in order to ensure that the FAR-based construction at R. D. Apartments is totally legal.

Would appreciate an early response – preferably by Saturday, August 5, 2017 – informing me about the action being taken by you in this case.

Regards

Rakesh Raman
463, DPS Apts., Plot No. 16
Sector 4, Dwarka, Phase I
New Delhi 110 078, INDIA

Cc:

  • Council of Architecture, India Habitat Centre, Core 6A, 1st Floor, Lodhi Road, New Delhi-110003 India
  • Design N Design, Architects, S-4, Anupam Plaza, IIT Crossing, Hauz Khaz, New Delhi – 110016
  • School of Planning and Architecture, 4-Block B, Indraprastha Estate, New Delhi 110002
  • The Director (Membership), Membership Department, The Institution of Engineers (India), 8 Gokhale Road, Kolkata 700 020
  • The Institution of Valuers (IOV) Plot No. 3, Parwana Road, Pitampura, New Delhi – 110 034
  • IIA Head Office, 5th Floor, Prospect Chambers, Annexe Dr. D.N. Road, Fort, Mumbai 400001

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Rakesh Raman