14 August 2017
Pawan Kumar Bansal, former union minister and former city MP has expressed his strong opposition against the UT administration decision to ban commercial use of basements. The Chandigarh Administration has withdrawn the permission for habitable use of basements in all categories of commercial properties on a weak ground of fire hazards.
The former MP, said the UT administration had in 2012 permitted traders to use building basements for commercial purpose without taking permission from authorities concerned. The decision, he said, had then come as big relief for many general traders who had taken up commercial activities in basements in different sectors, including Sectors 17, 22 and 35, adding that now even some booths had basements and it was absolutely ridiculous and illogical to come up with a policy which is sans reasoning and will adversely affect the business community of the city.
“With growing urbanisation and in times when going underground is the only solution, even the multilevel parking in Sector 17 has been built underground then why the Administration has issued an order of far reaching consequences without even considering the negative impact it would have on the businesses of city trading community. I agree fire safety measures are important and should be strictly followed, but this is a decision taken in haste and without giving it a thought”, he said.
Bansal added, warehouses are even riskier and hazardous and what is required is implementation of stringent fire safety measures, rather than leaving the city traders handicapped with such an arbitrary decision restricting optimum use of space. And when we permit the use of existing basements what is the rationale not letting new ones to be constructed, he asked. He appealed to the Chandigarh Administration to immediately withdraw the decision, as it is detrimental to the interest of the traders and is not a wise solution to fix a problem.