Pitaram Complex in Narhe, which collapsed on October 31, wasn't constructed by an experienced developer but a grocer who had bought a piece of land and had turned builder overnight. Had his first venture not crumbled, he had aspired to construct a series of buildings in the locality.
Similarly , a ward president of a political party in Katraj opened a construction company office on his property . Soon, with the help of moneylenders and landlords, he started a construction project.
There has been a rash of construction firms in fringe villages over the last five years. While some have stayed in the business and have constructed many residential buildings, others are fly-by-night builders who invest money in a piece of land, build an apartment, make money and disappear from the scene. Violations of construction norms are routine.
Illegal construction business is on boom in city fringes.
“There are no prerequisites such as qualification or expertise needed to enter the construction business. Illegal constructions are coming up because these socalled builders are able to get away with what they are doing. There is no strong deterrent to curb illegal constructions,” said Rohit Gera, vice president, CREDAI PuneMetro. Gera pertinently notes that such builders could have been stopped on their tracks if they hadn’t found support in government officials and also consumers. “Those who are responsible for permitting or ignoring illegal constructions should be penalized,” he said.
Those with projects in the city’s fringes said there are no checks in place. Sachin Kulkarni, managing director of Vastushodh Projects, which has several projects in the city's fringe areas said the town planning depart ment sanctions projects, but does not inspect the quality or safety of construction.
Government officials blame ‘political pressure’ for sanctioning plans under duress and lack of staff to carry out on-site checks. Clearly, there are no norms being followed with buildings coming up on amenity spaces, forest land and even on water bodies.
Take for instance the illegal constructions in Shindewadi where developers illegally excavated foothills to construct buildings. This came into sharp focus last year when a woman and her daughter were swept away in flash floods because of the hills being excavated for buildings and construction debris piling up. Following the tragedy, the district collector office had initiated a demolition drive.
But such violations are not limited to the fringes. In Pune city, a builder constructed an 11-storey building, while the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) had given permission only for seven floors. Though the case was brought to the notice of the corporation, no action has been taken so far.
Within city limits, the district collectorate grants permissions for land use and the town planning department checks if the construction is as per the original plan.
Until 2010, for constructions out of the civic limits, local gram panchayats were authorized to issue building permissions, which the state government stopped when it found haphazardly-constructed buildings and massive use of FSI. The district collectorate and the Town Planning (TP) were brought into the picture, but the rot had run deep by then.
Developer and another vice president of CREDAI Pune-Metro, Shrikant Paranjape, said that town planning department needed more qualified manpower to examine the safety aspects.On ground, buildings are coming up without any heed to construction norms and RCC consultants are not even consulted in many cases.
After the Narhe tragedy , the district collector office, the PMC and the TP department announced action against illegal constructions, planned surveys and also filed cases against builders and others involved in this activity. But such action notwithstanding, in fringe villages, life has moved on and it's business as usual for builders.
Times of India, Pg. no. 1 & 3
First of all I would like to thank you and the Gera team for organizing different workshops at our doorstep.
The best thing I have done to my kids is that I took a right decision to buy a flat in Gera.
Because of this decision , Vishnu could attend the development workshops that were conducted.
Vishnu was a shy child who didn't like to participate in any of the programmes.
As far as Dale Carnegie workshops is concerned it has given him a lot of confidence and was presenting things in a much better way and I can see a lot of improvement in him.In simple words u made a person(..
My son Tattva had been enrolled in the intermediate level and has been coached by the Vishwanathan Anand Chess Academy coach . Tattva has made remarkable strides and will be on his way to get his FIDE rating in November. A lot of credit goes to the mentor for his unique way of handling his students. He has been very patient while working with Tattva on his areas of improvement. In addition before the tournament the coach had voluntarily added additional classes and doubled his efforts to get a better performance out of Tattva. He has shown complete ownership which is commendable. I hope he continues to develop more and more chess players in the coming days...
It's a wonderful experience with the tennis academy and my daughter liked it. Also she is getting good training and love for the game.
The coaches are good and we would continue using their expertise for Nishita going onwards. We are also looking forward for signing (actually instrument) and dancing coaching too.
This is to share with you that both my little girls (Aditi Anisha) are really enjoying their Tennis classes at the Mahesh Bhupathi Tennis Academy.
I always find them very excited whenever there is TENNIS CLASS, and this excitement matters to both of us, as the kids seems to be interested.
It’s nice to see them constructively engaged, and coming home happy and having felt productive in their own child little way. It’s a great way for them to bond with other young ones and feel belonged to a larger community.
Thanks to You, Gera Developments and MBTA for giving our young ones, an opportunity for a wonderful learning experience.
Now they are looking forwar..
Regarding the workshops & different academy sessions, it has been wonderful experience so far for Shlok and we’re looking forward for the new opportunities.
It’s absolutely fantastic to have all these academies in the premises, and that too from the renowned personalities, so we can send kids without worrying about other factors like safety & all.
And most importantly, a big thanks to you for the lovely follow-ups & timely updates about the upcoming/ongoing sessions.