In the wake of Surat fire tragedy, governments of respective states have ordered the department concerned to follow proper safety measures in markets to avert such incidents. In this regard, residential societies are no exception.
The open spaces built adjacent to the flats, left open for safety purpose in the case of fire mishaps, are being occupied by others, aggravate the situation.
Be it in pockets developed by the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) or Cooperative Group Housing Societies (CGHS), such practice has become common in the area. It is rampant in MIG, LIG and Janata flats.
Such encroachments are taking place in connivance with Residents' Welfare Associations (RWAs), and political influence, residents alleged. They added saying the local administration is aware of such activities but it deliberately avoids to intervene in the matter.
Talking to City Spidey on this issue, resident of Kautilya Apartments (Sector 14) said, “Almost all the open spaces here are at risk of encroachment. Most of them have been grabbed by the workers who are involved in illegal construction. Think about the fatalities that might occur during fire-related incidents in such a situation. This is alarming! It is the responsibility of the civic body concerned to take a serious note of it.”
The Supreme Court, in the year 2018, had directed the civic bodies to stall unauthorised constructions and take action against the violators but sadly, neither the public nor the civic bodies take apex body's ruling seriously!
Ramesh Mumukshu, general secretary of Studio Apartments (Sector 16B) said, “These spaces are being encroached in such a manner that fire brigade cannot even move smoothly in the case of a fire mishap. Besides, it becomes impossible for people to escape from them. Civic authorities should look into the matter and do the needful as soon as possible.”
Though there is minimum illegal construction in the CGHS, the open spaces have been encroached by making that place a storehouse. Besides, these get blocked by the vehicles parked there.
Seema Sharma, a resident of Sector 6 concluded saying, “It is a serious issue which is becoming rampant. Management, residents and civic bodies should work jointly in order to resolve it.”