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SC slams Delhi govt on building collapse

Source: PTI
November 18, 2010 22:11 IST
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The Supreme Court on Thursday slammed the government for the Laxmi Nagar building tragedy in which over 70 persons were killed, saying such mishaps were occurring due to "illegal" and "illogical" policies adopted by the authorities.

"The illogical and illegal policies are only motivating people to raise extra floors resulting in such tragedies," a three-judge bench of Justices V S Sirpurkar, G S Singhvi and P Sathasivam observed.

The apex court made the observation after amicus curiae and senior counsel Ranjit Kumar submitted during the hearing of the property sealing case that such tragedies were occuring due to the "lop sided" policies adopted by the government and assailed the 2021 master plan for Delhi.

"There is no adequate space for parking even for two storied constructions. But you are allowing people to raise additional floors," the bench said, fuming at the government.

However, in response to a query from the bench, Municipal Corporation of Delhi's counsel Sanjib Sen said that the corporation was only an implementing agency and had no role in drafting the MPD or other related issues.

The apex court agreed with Kumar's submission that incidents like the Laxminagar tragedy were on account of the authorities' failure to act against unscrupulous builders. He submitted that allowing third floors for not only new constructions but also existing constructions under the MPD-2021 would only result in more such tragedies and compounding people's woes.

"All these incidents are the result of illogical laws, lack of enforcement and total inaction of the government," the Bench observed.

The MPD 2021 is under challenge in the Supreme Court from various individuals and civil society groups that have complained that it would only add to the traffic, parking, drinking water, power supply and other woes of the capital's denizens.

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