... Even as hundreds of staff continue to wait for allotment
Even as hundreds of government employees working in UT departments continue to wait for a government house, hundreds of houses built five decades ago are in dilapidated condition for want of renovation. Standing the test of time, these houses have turned into haunted houses and are literally uninhabitable going by their pathetic conditions with overgrown grass in the lawns, broken windowpanes and doors, many of these have not been occupied for years together.
In fact, these houses which are lying vacant for years are mostly serving as night dens for miscreants who use the broken doors as passages to the houses. A visit to some of these houses revealed bottles of liquor, bidis , cigarette butts lying in the houses. Interestingly, most of these houses are for middle rung and lower rung staff such as group C,D employees and some of these are for Group B employees.
The neighbors staying in the vicinity have complained to the authorities several times that these houses are being used by anti social elements but the pleas have fallen on deaf ears.
Owing to the ramshackle conditions, there are no takers for these houses mostly located in the heart of the city in some of the most prime sectors including Sector 19,20, 22,23. Officials of the UT Engineering department peg the total numbers of government houses at around 13000, out of which about 3000 houses are about five decades old.
Speaking with Newsline, UT Chief Engineer S K Chaddha said, “Even though these houses may be old but there is nothing like these are not habitable. In fact, the old constructions are still very sturdy and durable. Also, it is not possible to renovate all the houses in one go. Tenders have to be invited and the entire process of allotment of work takes time. Nevertheless, we are taking up renovations of houses block wise. Contrary to the past practice, wherein houses would be renovated on requests basis, now we have picked sectors and have drawn up lists block wise and all the houses in a lane are being renovated together”.
On an average, the UT Engineering department is renovating 3500-4000 houses annually at a whopping cost of Rs 20-25 crore.
Even as the officials continue to deny that the houses in shambles cannot be treated as inhabitable, experts say otherwise. “You cannot infuse life in a dead object.