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Dehiwala Condo Flouts UDA Regulations

by Hafsa Sabry

Dehiwala Mount Lavinia Muncipal Council

The Dehiwala Mount Lavinia Municipal Council (DMMC) is alleged to have granted approval for the construction of a condominium in Atapattu Road, Dehiwala  violating the Urban Development Authority (UDA) regulations on how and where a seven stories apartment should be permitted.

According to the UDA regulations if the road where the condominium is coming up is less than 20 feet the project cannot be granted approval as it is a blatant violation of the regulations.. The regulations clearly says that a building  with more than three  stories with ground floor cannot be built  in a road less than 20 feet wide as it would create a risk in the area.  Violating this regulation the DMMC has granted approval for a building that is 7 stories high, consisting of 18 apartment blocks.

It had created a stir among the residents of the area as a result of the approval given for the illegal construction. The residents claim that the houses were 3-4 decades old and walls will crack if the piling work for the construction is started. Out of 41 households 34 signed the petition filed against the illegal construction in the area. It is noteworthy that a petition signed by more than 6 households is considered as a public nuisance but almost all the houses have signed the petition but there is no response from the relevant authorities yet against the illegal construction.

Section 13 of UDA Regulations requires submission of Detailed Structural Plans together with design calculations, results of soil tests, soil bearing capacity, type of foundations, type of piles, and machinery to be used for piling work. However, it is learnt that the building permit was approved without any of these required details. In addition, the building permit was approved with a 12 x 4 feet septic tank /soakage pit for all apartments, which is again a total violation of Section 71 of UDA Regulations.

With poor soil conditions in the area, it is obvious that a pile foundation for a seven storied building is necessary. There is a huge risk for the buildings in the very close proximity of the upcoming condominium, when driving long depths piles in a 20p land. When the residents brought the issue up with Commissioner / DMMC, he is alleged to have asked the people to discuss it with the developers.

“We sent many letters a month ago stating this issue to the DMCC and other authorities but a solid response is yet to come. Every Wednesday someone from the road had visited the municipality, we were send from pillar to post and finally three residents were asked to meet the commissioner as the state Minister Faiszer Musthapha had asked him to inspect the project, but he did not turn up nor did he inform about the cancellation claiming he had a meeting.

Even though the signatures and the house numbers of the 34 residents of the area was sent to the commissioner he claimed he had no contact details of the residents to inform us about the cancellation of meetings after we had waited for hours. He did not respond to our calls since, he is even misleading the minister, the residents protested.  Many have raised eyebrows against the suspicious manner of the commissioner.

Even though the UDA regulation is very specific and clear about how a condominium of 7 stories cannot be built on a road less than 20 ft. we are not sure how the approval was given and the developers are getting away with blatant violations, the residents lamented. It is disheartening to know how the officials and people in power are corrupt and work for their personal gain, they added.

Nevertheless, to approve a building construction the planning committee consisting of 6 to7 officials, the mayor, the deputy mayor, the commissioner, 2 planning officers and other officers must meet and give approval.  Unfortunately, Kesarralal Gunasekara, the deputy mayor of the DMMC was not allowed to sit at the discussion as he objected the project coming up illegally.

This is an area where all the ethnic groups live in and every one of them have come forward to fight against the illegal construction coming up on our road. The officers have approved the project basically for their own profit. This land was sold for 42 million a year ago.

Sources revealed how the profit is divided by the officers. They are paid for every extra floor that was approved for construction. Furthermore, the sewerage, and garbage disposal of 18 apartments in a 20p land will create serious environmental problems.

The residents of Atapattu road earnestly request the relevant authorities to seriously investigate into this matter urgently and stop this construction work, which is a total violation of existing regulations and safeguard the rights of tax-paying residents to live peacefully in their homes, where they have lived for ages.

 

4 Comments for “Dehiwala Condo Flouts UDA Regulations”

  1. Patriot

    DMMC had also granted permission to build a 8 stories apartment block in Annie Avenue, Dehiwela and perhaps palms including Dhanasiri’s were well oiled!

  2. sure somebody got paid a lot of money….!

  3. Mahen

    The municipalities in the western province should halt all current constructions and investigate the planning orders to ensure they have been done according to the regulations before allowing them to proceed. This is urgent in view of the environmental impacts that are fast turning in to grave health risks for our people.

  4. Rajani

    DMMC area you can see many apartments coming up without a proper approval. most of the apartments are constructed without required car parks. No proper fire fighting system and waste water system. Yahapalanaya government must investigate all the irregularities and take action against all culprits.

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