GURGAON: There seems to be no place for the poor in the Millennium City, though they have played an important role in its development.
Authorities are apparently trying to lessen the number of slums and provide affordable housing to people from the economically weaker sections (EWS) of the society by continuously making norms, only to be violated by private developers, right under their nose.
Illegal construction by private developers on EWS plots in Suncity, Sector 54, for instance, is going on for the last one-and-a-half years.
In 2005, the town and country planning allotted over 150 plots for the economically weaker sections in Suncity. Today, high-rises are being built on these plots. While only construction of two-and-a-half floors is allowed, plot owners are constructing four to five floors.
Ashok Joshi, a resident of E Block, who lives very close to under-constructed EWS plots, says, "Most of the plot owners are building four to five floors. Neither the builder nor the town country planning office is keeping any eye on the construction of these plots."
Another resident of E Block, who doesn't wish to be named, claims, "About five generators are also kept on the terrace of under-constructed buildings. These are diesel generators, which cause a lot of pollution in the society."
A member of RWA, Vishwa Singh, also alleges that the plots are being built for commercial purposes. "The plot owners are constructing houses in a way that they can be used as guest houses. Most of the owners have kept two entrances of the floors. It is clear flouting of norms," he says.
Shockingly, possession has started and about 20 to 30 people are already living in the illegally constructed houses. It therefore puts an additional load on power and water consumption in the society, local residents say.
When asked about illegal construction on EWS plots, Harendra Singh, general manager, Suncity, told TOI, "These plots have been allotted by the district town and country planning department through a draw of lots. It is their job to take appropriate action, if construction norms are violated by the land owners. We don't have any legal power to stop the construction."
Senior Town Planner, Kamal Kumar, on the other hand, said that "we have given license to the colonizer. It is responsibility of the colonizer to see if plot owners are constructing houses according to the building plan approved by the department. They also have to monitor if norms are violated during the construction of houses in these areas."