A PIL in Delhi high court has contended that about 90% of buildings in Delhi default on safety norms and that there are over 1,700 illegal colonies where people's safety has been compromised. In this regard, the court issued notices to the Centre and Delhi government, besides the three municipal corporations and Delhi Development Authority(DDA).
The bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar was not happy with the state of construction in Delhi relating to illegal construction and unauthorised colonies. It severely criticized the government authorities for playing with the lives of citizens of Delhi in utter disregard for laws.
The PIL, filed by advocate Arpit Bhargava, contended that Delhi currently has over 1,700 unauthorised colonies with more than 50 lakh people living in them. Bhargava argued that the safety norms as stated in NCT of Delhi Laws (Special Provisions) Second Act, 2011 and National Building Code, 2005 and other related laws in all these colonies have not been implemented by the authorities.
Therefore, directions have been sought "to stop regularisation of any unauthorised colony till infrastructure development has taken place in all such colonies and safety norms are complied with". "Despite regularisation of all these unauthorised colonies, very few sanctioned plans are applied for and obtained before starting any new construction, thereby leading to massive illegal construction compromising on safety of people," the PIL said.
The petitioner claimed that illegal constructions have come up in violation of the National Building Code 2005 for seismic zone IV, in which Delhi falls, and the order of the high court that no building should be allowed to come up without complying with the norms. Bhargava also wants fixing of accountability on the officials who had allowed such unauthorised colonies to come up and strict action against them. The PIL claimed that in a court order it was revealed that merely 10-15% of Delhi's buildings comply with the building code.