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News : UT to Launch Helpline for Reporting Illegal Constructions
Chandigarh, India, Dec 30, 2015 -- In the wake of the tragic incident in which six people were killed and 11 injured due to digging of an illegal basement in a bay shop (booth) in Transport Area, Sector 26, on Monday, the UT estate office has decided to launch a helpline to report illegal and unsafe constructions.
The incident occurred due to illegal digging of the basement at plot number 88 when the entire adjoining liquor vend (plot number 89), a single-storey concrete structure, collapsed due to improper distance between the walls.
Digging at the plot had been on for the past three days and labourers had dug more than 10-foot deep. The owner, Jeevan Lal, did not stop the work despite repeated requests from the owner of the shop, Satpal Garg, which collapsed.
UT assistant estate officer (AEO) Prince Dhawan said that the decision had been taken to ensure that such incidents did not happen again. He said that the helpline number would be launched soon on which people can report illegal and unsafe constructions in the city.
"Our teams will take appropriate action on each call," said Dhawan.
Estate office writes to MC to seal plot
The estate office has asked the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation to seal the adjoining shop number 87 where the illegal basement has been constructed. The civic body had auctioned four dhaba sites — plot numbers 87 to 90 — in 2007.
During an inspection carried out by the estate office on Tuesday, it came to the fore that the basement in shop number 87 was constructed despite the building plan of the basement being rejected. The structure was also not found to be safe. AEO Prince Dhawan said that the MC had been asked to seal the building.
He said that if the civic body failed to act, the estate office would seal the building, taking action under the Disaster Management Act.
The owner of plot number 88 was digging the basement without submitting the building plan. As per the records, the building plan of shop number 89, which collapsed, was approved.
As per the National Building Code, for digging basement, there has to be a gap of 8 feet from both the walls. However, the size of these plots is just 15×45 feet. "Basement cannot be constructed in such small plots," said Dhawan.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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Published: Wednesday, December 30, 2015