The negligent attitude of the civic authorities came to the fore after the walls of the residential and commercial structures caved in as a result of digging up of a basement of an upcoming hotel. Luckily, no loss of life was reported.
Sanjay Kumar, an owner of the adjacent hotel that also suffered loss, said the matter was brought to the notice of the authorities concerned umpteen number of times, but they deliberately turned a blind eye. He said the authorities were informed that the construction of the property was in contravention to the sanctioned plan, while building by-laws were blatantly ignored.
“The basement is nearly 50 feet deep, which is in contravention to the permitted depth,” he claimed.
Another resident said the adjoining buildings, which are two and three-storeyed needed a minimum gap of around 8 feet from the new building to be constructed. However, a distance of less than five feet has been kept from the hotel that is coming up, he said.
Residents alleged that repeated requests, to political leaders, including the then deputy chief minister OP Soni and officials of the MC, fell on deaf ears.
“Nobody bothers about rectifying the faults, which could lead to loss of life. Looking at the risk, I believe that in the coming monsoon season, there would be a worst situation,” he said.
Another resident said cracks had appeared in the basement and ground floor of his 180-square yard commercial property. He recalled that about two years ago, the owner of the property started digging up the site. He blamed long delay in construction as the prime reason for weakening of the adjoining structures. Due to this, the adjoining buildings started becoming unsafe and unfit for human habitation, he said.
Ironically, IPS Randhawa, Municipal Town Planner, said the construction of the upcoming hotel was being done as per the plan.
“The map of the hotel was passed within the limits of the building norms. We cannot raise objections to it,” he said.