Needs-based modifications in CHB units will only be allowed if they are feasible and structurally safe, according to the UT advisor

Needs-based changes will only be allowed if there is feasibility, UT adviser Dharam Pal said on Sunday, speaking to The Indian Express. For a long time, the townspeople have urged the UT administration to regularize the needs-based changes undertaken in the units of the Chandigarh Housing Council (CHB).

“Only if needs-based changes are feasible and structurally secure, will they be allowed. A committee has been formed to verify whether the changes according to the needs made by the population are achievable or not, ”said UT adviser Dharam Pal.

At a meeting last week to discuss the Chandigarh master plan, UT officials also briefed UT administrator Banwarilal Purohit on the issue of needs-based changes raised by residents.
Meanwhile, the Chandigarh Housing Council, at its board meeting last month, had expressed reluctance and failed to give a clear green light to adopt Delhi’s model of regularizing violations committed by CHB beneficiaries. Instead, a committee under the chairmanship of the secretary of the Chandigarh Housing Council, with members from the departments of the Chandigarh administration, was formed.

OFFICERS DECLARED UT VULNERABLE TO EARTHQUAKES
An agenda presented to the council last month clarified that Chandigarh is already highly vulnerable to earthquakes, which cannot be compared to Delhi.

“With regard to the requests to allow a single settlement for all existing violations and to follow the Delhi model, where some of the violations have been rectified against payment of certain composition fees, it is submitted that Chandigarh is a city planned with a unique architectural character. and may not be comparable to Delhi. In addition, Chandigarh is very vulnerable to earthquakes as it is located in seismic zone IV and unauthorized violations can pose a threat to human life and public property, ”the agenda clarified.

It has also been said that “this can lead to problems with regard to basic requirements such as light, ventilation, zoning of the area, image of the street and the stability of the existing structure, among others. … Well-founded changes, claiming that the regularization of violations unduly incites new violations and negatively affects the quality of life in residential areas, ”he said.

The issue of the regularization of construction offenses in CHB apartments and the one-off settlement on Delhi Pattern was also raised at the last meeting of the Administrator’s Advisory Board on February 10, and many requests and representations were also made. received.

Most violations in CHB units are of the nature of additional floors, additional rooms, additional toilets, kitchen extension, enlarged / additional balconies and other modifications. In addition, a considerable number of alloters projected cantilevers on government land and built balconies, stairs, and bathrooms over these projected cantilevers.

Previously, a detailed exercise had been undertaken by the Chandigarh Housing Council to cover as many violations as possible in consultation with the engineering and architectural divisions of the administration. The recommendations of a special committee were considered by the administration of Chandigarh and certain modifications according to the needs were authorized by Ordinance No.59 of February 15, 2019.

In the meantime, the submission of a structural certificate and revised plans by the architects or structural engineers recruited, as well as the payment of charges, have been prescribed for the regularization of some of the changes as needed. These changes were authorized as part of the Relaxation of Building Rules for Chandigarh (Urban), 2017, with the approval of the Governor of Punjab and the Administrator of UT.

STUDY SAYS NON-SAFE MODIFICATIONS
The Chandigarh Housing Council had given the green light to needs-based changes in its housing units despite a report – prepared by consultants paired to assess structural stability – specifying that the changes did not meet the seismic requirements of base, which makes these housing units highly vulnerable to earthquakes. Needs-based modifications only had to be approved after verification of the structural stability of the housing units.

The Punjab Engineering College was hired to assess the structural stability of it, while the study was conducted by the Department of Civil Engineering. In a confidential report seen by The Indian Express, it was found that these changes did not meet basic seismic requirements and that certain specifications were required to qualify for critical requirements for ensuring the structural stability of a building.

The report said: “The existing buildings of the Chandigarh Housing Council being assessed for modifications do not meet seismic requirements even for Category B masonry buildings. As such, all additions and modifications to current structures do not meet seismic requirements under current conditions and therefore need to be reinforced in accordance with the relevant provisions of IS 4326-2013. According to IS 4326-2013, various masonry buildings have been classified as B, C, D and E.

Just before the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the BJP announced the regularization of changes as needed, as they have been carried out in nearly 50,000 CHB units by residents. Approval of needs-based changes was a poll question this time around, as it affected people living in all of these units, which are also a large vote bank. These residents had flouted the rules by making changes in these units.

A survey of 61,067 CHB dwellings found that 90 percent of people have made changes to their dwellings.