September 16, 2017|South Delhi
Hauz Khas Village: Delhi’s time bomb
- During the hearing of the recently filed PIL by social activist Pankaj Sharma and advocate Anuja Kapur, Delhi Court said that the Hauz Khas Village in South Delhi is a ticking time bomb.
- The PIL alleged that over 120 restaurants and pubs running in Hauz Khas Village are built without any objection certificate (NOC) from any authority including fire department or any approved building plan which has led to the poor and dangerous construction of the area.
- It has been alleged that the streets in the village are so narrow that a fire tender cannot move easily in case of an emergency.
- It has been brought to the notice of the court that only five restaurants had fire clearance.
Stand of Court
- The hearing was conducted in the high court, headed by Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal who pointed that neither the government agencies, nor the restaurant owners of the area have responded to the queries of safety and other issues.
- The court made it clear that the owners shall be held accountable in case of any unfortunate incident.
- Justice C Hari Shankar expressed his concerned about the commercialization of the Hauz Khas village allowed by the South Delhi Municipal Corporation, Delhi Police and other agencies.
- This prompted the bench to conclude that the licenses granted to these restaurants and the pubs have been granted without checking the ground realities.
- The bench also noted that the sewage system was not in a condition to take the load of the kitchens of restaurants and pubs.
- The matter that worried the bench the most was the fact that in case of emergency it will not be possible to operate a rescue operation as the vehicles cannot reach to the building.
- “The position is also highlighted from the affidavit of the Deputy Commissioner of Police pointing out that during terrorist attack, the NSG commandos could not reach the destination within the village” the court said.
- The bench has ordered Delhi civic bodies to inspect the location of Hauz Khas Village seeking answers to the construction, street plans, bore wells, fire safety and other public welfare issues.
- The adverse effect of such a construction on environment has also been discussed by the bench.
The matter shall be further evaluated in the court on 26th September after the inspection of the area by Delhi Jal Board, Fire stations and Municipal Corporation