Building regulations shatter widow's dream for a home

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Aizawl, Jul 20 (UNI) A widow in downtown Aizawl finds it tough to realise her years-old dream of having a home of her own, thanks to the newly introduced Aizawl Development Authority Building Regulations.

''I need to hire an architect that would cost me at least Rs 40,000 if I go by the new rules,'' said the impoverished widow, who did not want to be named.

''With a small amount of housing loan I obtained, I can't afford an architecturally planned building,'' rued the widow, who has to support herself with a meagre income.

Besides her, anyone who is about to build a house in Aizawl, is required to ensure that the building is an earthquake-proof.

''As per the rules, I am required to use 20 iron rods per-a-foot square cement concrete beam, which again I can not afford'', she said adding, ''what would be the use of my earthquake-proof building if a house next to mine, constructed before the building regulation, collapses on mine in an earthquake''.

The building regulations, which came into force from May, require a design by competent engineer and other structural mechanism so that it could withstand big jolt in case of an earthquake as Mizoram falls under seismic zone.

Contravention of any of the regulations would be liable to imprisonment and fine, the regulations said.

Among many others, the regulations restrict the height of the building to 12.85m (42.14 ft) from the ground level irrespective of the degree of the slope of the ground. Every building will have rainwater harvest system and garage as compulsory.

The regulations also demand that commercial buildings, apartment (flats), offices, hotels and theatre and auditorium will also have a minimum off-street parking space of 3m x 5m. Any existing building reported to be unsafe or damaged will be examined by a technical committee under the ADA. The authority willl give directions to the owner or occupier to complete repairs or to demolish the building within a specified time.

UNI ZS RH PC RC AS1107

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