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Is Def Col Becoming Another GK?
By: Editorial Team | Date: 01 Sep, 2011 | Category: Defence Colony

 

If you’re a former resident of Def Col, and you’ve come back after five years, you’d be forgiven if you didn’t recognize much.  The construction activity in the colony has now reached unprecedented levels, and if sources are to be believed, out of the 1600 odd houses in Def Col, an astounding 200 houses are being rebuilt at this very moment!  Add to that the Nalah construction, (To find out what’s going on with that, watch out for the next article), and the whole place is a nightmare to navigate.  But this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as long as each house has adequate parking and the relaxed character of the colony remains the same.  But if some of the news houses are any indication, Defence Colony might actually become another GK.
 
To understand why that is in danger of happening, let’s look at the laws surrounding any building in Def Col.  Till before two months ago, if you wanted to make a third floor, or if your FAR (Floor Area Ratio, which is the amount of area on any plot that you can cover), was above a certain amount, then you had to make stilts on the ground floor area for parking.  Then two months ago the law changed, and now its compulsory for any building on a plot that is between 100 sqr meters and 1000 sqr meters to have stilts.  That means that if you have a smaller plot in say A Block, and you want to rebuild it to only ground and first, you still have to have stilts parking. Everyone has to have it. Excellent! So now Def Col can have newer better constructed houses and yet have parking inside so that there is no congestion on the streets.  
 
But have a look around, and you’ll see how the rules are being flouted by all and sundry.  Take for example the C and D blocks.  If there is a new house, and it will definitely be ground plus three floors, because if anyone is rebuilding, they may as well build as much as they can, which is totally understandable.  So you’ll have a family on each floor and let’s say at least two cars per family (perhaps more).  So that’s 8 cars per house at least.   Now if you follow the building regulations, then in the stilts area you can park up to six cars, and in the driveway you can park two.  But a lot of houses are making stilts and then converting the area meant for parking into a host of other living spaces.  Some have made servant quarters there, others have made space for elevators connecting the ground floor which is above the stilts, to the basement below, and some have even made gyms, offices and have used it for every other purpose except parking! 
 
In addition to that, the driveways too are non-existent in many houses with builders and house owners gobbling up all the space they can for living areas.  Even if a portion on the area is covered, then you lose the space for one or two cars.  And those cars end up being parked outside where there is no space because now all the new houses have two gates for efficient entry and exit.  So. Where do people park their humungous cars? In front of other people’s house’s, or in front of their own house with cars jutting out on the road, on the Nalah road, or in the service lanes, making Def Col look like another one of Delhi’s cluttered colonies.  In many streets already there is no space to park, and because of the way the cars are packed, only one car can navigate the road at a time.  
And what is the penalty for this.  The penalty is demolition of the illegal structures built in the stilts area.  But has that ever happened?  Never, as far as anyone knows.  So obviously it’s very easy to get completion and then build what you want in parking lot, or just pay off whoever comes to check the completion.  With the builder mafia going strong in Def Col, it’s only a matter of time before it becomes another GK or a South Ex., unless we can all get together and clamp down on it.  Is anyone in the DCWA listening? Can we do something to stop Def Col from going down the drain? Anyone? Anna?
 
P.S. – If you know of any building that is flouting rules please email us and let us know, and lend us your support. Also let us know you views and share your thoughts by mailing us at editorial@defcol.com

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