Tuesday, January 29, 2002, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

HP nod to five storeys
Tribune News Service

Shimla, January 28
Succumbing to the pressure of the builders’ lobby, the Himachal Pradesh Cabinet today scrapped its earlier restrictions on the height of the buildings and allowed the construction of five storeys, including one for parking, in all residential, commercial and hotel buildings.

The decision was taken by the Cabinet which met here this afternoon under the chairmanship of the Chief Minister, Mr P.K. Dhumal.

The decision to restrict the height of the buildings in the highly seismic zone state was restricted to three storeys, including one for parking, following the earthquake in Gujarat which claimed thousands of lives. However, the Cabinet suddenly removed the restrictions today when an earthquake rocked the state in the early morning.

The Cabinet had earlier relaxed the height of the institutional buildings.

Briefing mediapersons about the decisions of the Cabinet, an official spokesman said that the Cabinet took this conscious decision keeping in mind the scarcity of land in the state because of the hilly terrain and the subsequent measures taken by the Town and Country Planning Department to incorporate measures against the seismic threats.

He said it had been made compulsory for the builders to have the designs checked and certified by a qualified structural engineer and also use earthquake-resistant material.

The Cabinet also approved the proposal to delegate the powers for approval of buildings plans as per norms of the Town and Country Planning Department as well as regulating constructions in Export Promotion and Industrial Park at Baddi to the Director of Industries. This will facilitate entrepreneurs and the Industries Department in speedy setting up of the new industrial units.

Till now, the powers with respect to single window clearances of building plans only had been delegated to the Local Urban Bodies by the Town and Country Planning Department. The Cabinet approved further delegation of powers to the Urban Local Bodies, according to which they would now also be accepting authority with respect to the structural certificate submitted by the structural engineer. The Urban Local Bodies would now also be authorised to regulate sewerage, electricity and drinking water connection with regard to the cases not confirming to the town and country planning laws.

It was decided that the Department of Industries would be redesignated as the Department of Industries and Information Technology with corresponding supervisory functions. The Directorate of Industries would also function as the Directorate of Information Technology.

The Cabinet also noted that the State Electronics Development Corporation which is working under the supervision of the Industries Department would also render technical support for the development of IT section in the state.Back


7 charred to death in road mishap
Our Correspondent

Kurukshetra, January 28
Seven persons were charred to death and three seriously injured when a Tata Sumo carrying 10 persons of a marriage party collided with a canter near Gumthlagarhu village, 45 km from here, last night. The oil tank of the canter burst due to the collision and both vehicles caught fire, which engulfed occupants of the Sumo. They had gone to Patiala from Malikpur village to attend a marriage and were returning home when the mishap took place.

The injured were admitted to the local LNJP Hospital. The Deputy Commissioner, Mr Abhilaksh Lakhi, called upon them and announced a grant of Rs 10,000 each for the next of kin of those killed. Back

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