Corruption has eaten into town planning, observes SC

People are dying in building collapses and fires because corruption has eaten into town planning and grant of building permits across the country, the Supreme Court said in Friday. Referring to the recent fire which engulfed Crystal Tower in Parel, Mumbai, Justice Madan B. Lokur said thousands of buildings in Mumbai are unsafe and innocent lives are lost in the mire of corruption. “In Mumbai, people are dying. We are talking about deaths here. Only recently there was a huge fire at Kamala Mills, no lesson was learnt.. How long will this situation continue? How many lives more?” Justice Lokur said. Justice Lokur said many residential buildings were being used for commercial purposes also. “There are about 51,000 homes used for commercial purposes in Delhi,” Justice Lokur remarked. He was indicating how mixed use of buildings for commercial and residential purposes increases the risk for residents. Justice Deepak Gupta, the other judge on the Bench, said “everything is collapsing”. “You make laws and then you make a mockery of these laws,” Justice Gupta observed. ‘Cannot fold hands’ The 16-storey Crystal Tower had shops on the ground floor, parking on the first three floors followed by three flats each on the upper floors. Four people were killed and 23, including three firemen, suffered injuries in the blaze. “We are monitoring Delhi, but what about the rest of the country?” Justice Lokur asked Additional Solicitor General A.N.S Nadkarni, for the Centre.

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