Hauz Khas Village: Inferno in waiting

Delhi's popular Hauz Khas Village area has come under fire from Delhi High Court.

Hauz Khas Village: Inferno in waiting

by Rashi Kanwar, ZIMA

Delhi's popular Hauz Khas Village area has come under fire from Delhi High Court. And once again, it is due to security concerns and safety hazards. emergency service vehicles like ambulances and fire trucks not being able to reach the area in case of trouble. The court has asked explanation from South Delhi police as well as MCD regarding the same. As I had interviewed people from this area got to know that right now everyone except few have taken up safety measures pertaining to fire but still the road leading to the Hauz Khas village has lot of jams due to the public transport like OLA, UBER, THREE WHEELERS. It is also due to the parking which is done on the sides of the street and by lanes leading to Hauz Khas. 
 
A division bench of acting Chief Justice ordered an inspection of the area. The illegal constructions and encroachments caused by restaurants, pubs, fashion studios, art galleries and bars without permits serving alcohol is the area of concern. The bench asked the SDMC how restaurants were being allowed to run "neck to neck in that small area" without the permissions. It also asked how residential buildings were being allowed to be used for commercial purposes, despite the obvious violation of the area's building bylaws and master plans.
 
The petition alleges that in addition to being a fire hazard, illegal constructions make it impossible for emergency service vehicles to access the area in case of a tragedy.
 
The police, fire department and SDMC have been given orders to conduct inspections as to how licenses were issued to these establishments. Hauz Khas Village currently holds over 120 restaurants and pubs without building plan approvals or No Objection Certificates (NOCs) from the concerned authorities, including the fire department. They allege that in addition to being a major fire hazard, illegal constructions and the crowds make it impossible for emergency service vehicles to access the area in case of a tragedy. This has come up after the Mumbai inferno where fire safety rules were not applied that resulted in deaths of 14 innocent people. 
I hereby raise my concerns for the safety of our life and our loved ones which is not been looked into, because of the flashy lights of the pubs and the carelessness of MCD and police department.

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