Saturday 18 September 2021

DTCP demolishes illegal floors of 10 buildings and 12 shops in DLF-3, Gurugram

DTCP took major action against illegal buildings in the residential block of DLF-3. Illegal construction continues to be a major issue for residents living in DLF-3 for over a decade now.

Gurugram: With the help of a drone and 100 policemen the enforcement department of DTCP demolished illegal floors of 10 buildings and 12 shops in the DLF-3 U-Block colony on Thursday.

According to DTCP officials, this is the biggest action taken by the DTCP against the illegal buildings in a residential block of the upscale licensed colony. The unauthorized construction in DLF-3 is a major issue for residents living in the colony.

The department directed the property owners to submit their consent of illegal removal of structures that are in violation of construction norms by this Friday.

TOI on September 6 reported that the DTCP department found 1000 buildings in three blocks of DLF-3 that violates the building norms sanctioned by the Gurgaon authorities. In a DTCP report, the buildings constructed on these plots are for economically weaker sections, but owners of these buildings added illegal floors and carried out unauthorized construction after getting occupation certificates from the authority.

The drive was supposed to start at 10 am on Thursday but was delayed for a couple of hours due to rain. Around 300 locals gathered and resisted the drive when the enforcement team arrived at U-block with a drone and 100 policemen. The police had to control the crowd to clear the area of demolition.

District town planner (enforcement) RS Batth led the drive and said they got numerous complaints of illegal constructions in the area. “We carried out surveys and found that many property owners have illegally constructed floors and extended balconies and staircases in gross violation of the Haryana Building Code, 2017,” he said.

Block S, U, and V were found to be illegal as the owners of these plots used 100% of the space, and constructed six to seven floors violating regulation of building plans. Some owners even combined two or more plots to construct commercial spaces like officesshops and eateries.

The town planner said the enforcement team took down 10 under-construction buildings which were found in the survey. “A team of 50 labourers demolished the internal walls of the illegal floors, after which they were sealed,” said Batth.

Assistant town planner Ashish Sharma said 12 shops were also demolished as shops were illegally constructed on residential plots. “The drive will continue in S, U and V blocks. We have got strict instructions from the higher authorities to check illegal construction and initiate action against violators,” he said.

Meanwhile, the residents living in DLF-3 supported the drive. A resident said,” We are happy that DTCP is acting against unauthorized construction. But repeated action is needed to check the menace as it is causing huge inconvenience to us”.

Published by: Rao Jaswant Singh


Friday 17 September 2021

Najafgarh lake in fray to be Capital’s first bird sanctuary

Forest officials and environmental experts have been batting to conserve the lake for several years now, and argue that its environs need a higher degree of protection for its rich avian ecosystem, which could be lost without it.
The national capital may get its first bird sanctuary as the forest department plans to seek sanctuary status for the Najafgarh jheel (lake) and the area around it, said officials aware of the matter. A proposal to this effect is being prepared and will be presented to the Delhi government.

Forest officials and environmental experts have been batting to conserve the lake for several years now, and argue that its environs need a higher degree of protection for its rich avian ecosystem, which could be lost without it.

A survey of the area and species found in the waterbody was carried out in May.

“A 50-acre area around the lake has been surveyed that has the potential to be demarcated as a bird sanctuary. It is extremely crucial to protect this wetland in order to conserve both its biodiversity as well as its ecological significance. This is one of the only rich wetlands in the city that has the potential to help raise the groundwater level of west Delhi areas such as Dwarka, which are mostly parched,” said a senior official, who did not wish to be named.

The lake is located in a natural depression in southwest Delhi, close to the Gurugram-Rajokri border on National Highway-48. It is fed by the Najafgarh drain, which has a sizeable catchment area in Gurugram. A portion of the lake falls in Haryana.

There are a number of bird sanctuaries around Delhi, including Okhla (under the Uttar Pradesh administration), Bhindawas bird sanctuary in Jhajjar (Haryana) and Sultanpur national park, essentially a bird sanctuary on the Gurugram-Jhajjar highway.

A sanctuary declared under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 is a green place reserved exclusively for wildlife — birds, mammals, reptiles, and insects. It provides protection from any encroachment or development activities surrounding the area while allowing favourable conditions for the wildlife within it.

Birders say that Najafgarh, with its long stretch flowing from Haryana to Delhi, has a greater number of birds than Sultanpur or Okhla bird sanctuaries.

“There is no other place in the Delhi-Haryana region except for Najafgarh where one can find such a large number of greater flamingoes. Also, it is the only place where they have been found trying to build nests. However, with an uncontrolled volume of water being released, the nests often get destroyed every monsoon. It has a large number of common cranes not found in many places in and around Delhi,” said birder Pankaj Gupta.

He also said that Najafgarh along with Basai, Sultanpur and Bhindawas forms a wetland complex where there is the most bird movement. Amid these are a number of unprotected wetlands, which have a lot of birds too. “Making it a sanctuary will help strengthen this wetland complex and hence the movement of birds,”

In a preliminary survey, the forest department with the help of the Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS) has prepared a checklist of over 300 bird species (both migratory and resident birds) that are found in the wetland. This includes more than 15 species that are red-listed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

“Once finalised, the proposal will be sent to the Delhi government for consideration. The proposal also considers the area to be developed as an eco-tourism site that may also help boost the local economy,” the official said.

So far the lake is not a protected water body or wetland area either under the Delhi government or the Haryana government. In 2019, Delhi government’s wetland authority following an order of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) asked the concerned departments to carry out an extended survey of the area and formulate a plan to notify the area as a wetland under the Wetlands (Conservation and Management) Rules, 2017. The new wetland conservation rules prohibit the setting up or expansion of industries and the disposal of construction and demolition waste in a wetland.

The Delhi government had set up an expert committee to create a plan for the restoration and protection of the lake. “The environment management plan has been sent and is at present with the Union environment ministry for consideration,” said a Delhi government official requesting anonymity. Haryana is yet to submit its plan for the same, the official added.

However, officials and experts believe that mere notification of the area as a wetland won’t do: it needs a sanctuary status for more stringent protection rules.

Sohail Madan, an ecologist and centre manager of the BNHS’s Conservation Education Centre at the Asola wildlife sanctuary, said that Najafgarh jheel is a very important wetland for Delhi and its surrounding areas. Of all the migratory birds coming to Delhi, a huge percentage comes to this area. “It is an important habitat for predatory birds such as marsh harriers, Indian spotted eagle and peregrine falcons, among others. Apart from biodiversity, it’s an ecologically important site for groundwater recharge and hydrology of Delhi. But due to so many concerns and stakeholders, the project never takes off. I hope that in this instance, it’s successful,” said Madan.

Citing an example of a lost wetland, he said the Basai wetland in neighbouring Gurugram was lost to the construction of a highway and housing colonies.

Manu Bhatnagar, principal director, natural heritage division of Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage, said that if any area is declared as a sanctuary, it automatically comes under the purview of the Wildlife Protection Act, which has far stringent rules against encroachment or construction than those applied to a notified wetland.

“The Najafgarh lake certainly requires this degree of protection. Once it’s declared a sanctuary it would imply that the environmental impact assessment requirements of new development interventions here and in the vicinity will change. It would also mean the place will have layers of protection in terms of a buffer zone, a core region (where visitors are not allowed) as well as prescribed limits for sound and the use of lights,” he said.


Friday 10 September 2021

Gurugram: 1,000 buildings in DLF-3 blocks under DTCP scanner

GURUGRAM: The department of town and country planning (
DTCP) has identified around 1.000 buildings in three blocks of DLF phase 3 that allegedly violated plans sanctioned by the authorities.
The owners of these buildings, which have been constructed on plots meant for the Economically Weaker Sections (EWS), have been found to have raised extra floors and carried out unauthorised constructions even after procuring occupation certificates (OCs).
The enforcement wing of DTCP carried out a survey of the buildings in S, U and V blocks of DLF phase 3 after receiving complaints from residents.
District town planner (enforcement) RS Batth said the department was checking the status of buildings on three counts — whether the developers have taken OCs or not, if they have made illegal constructions after getting the certificates and whether the structures are under construction.
“We have got details of around 1,000 buildings in the area. After tallying their details with departmental data, we will soon be initiating action against the offenders,” he added.
The move followed complaints by residents about the quality of construction and the overall safety of the buildings.
During the survey, it was found that the plot owners had used up 100% of their area, constructed 6-7 storeys in violation of the plan and combined two or more plots to build commercial structures like offices, shops and eateries.
According to Batth, these buildings have come up over the past 10 to 12 years. The department, he said, is studying the OCs issued to buildings in DLF 3 during this period.
“We have written to the developer to share a plot-wise list of the area, details of ownership transfers and the action plan for the suspension of services provided to the property owners who have constructed additional floors,” he added.
The licences for residential colonies are granted under the provisions of the Haryana Development and Regulation of Urban Areas Act, 1975, and Haryana Development and Regulation of Urban Areas Rules, 1976.
Under them, around 15% of plots in licenced colonies are reserved for the EWS category.

“While approving the zoning plan, it had been categorically mentioned that only one dwelling unit is allowed in this category of plots (EWS). Further, 66% of ground coverage and 2.64 floor-area ratio (FAR) is allowed in keeping with the prevailing policy,” Batth said.



DTCP demolishes illegal floors of 10 buildings and 12 shops in DLF-3, Gurugram

DTCP took major action against illegal buildings in the residential block of DLF-3. Illegal construction continues to be a major issue for r...