Chandigarh

IAF employees in Chandigarh forced to live in dilapidated houses

Y.S.Rana | November 07, 2019 10:10 PM

CHANDIGARH: Hundreds of airmen residential accommodation for 3 BRD and 12 Wing in Sector 31 and 47 those are posted in Chandigarh one could describe as an “accident waiting to happen.”  Families are residing in dingy and badly maintained houses. Appearance of these, shows that these can give way at any time for big mishap.  The lowest ranked personnel form the majority of air force and widespread dissatisfaction is found among them. The authority has been aware of the need to provide quality housing for the air force personnel for decades.

Defaced walls, partly broken balconies, and windows the residents have to risk their lives especially for children it becomes too risky to any mishap, says a resident. Most of the residents stated that attention has not been paid for repair, maintenance and renovation of houses and they have adapted to live in a house with a leaking ceiling, cracks on walls and water pipes.  One of the residents has revealed that these houses were constructed as back as 1970. “We so scared to sleep at night gripped by fear that anything might happen at any time,” say they and added water seeped into the rooms.

The official of the Chandigarh Administration said that 60 acres of land was allotted to air force authority for construction of accommodation for its personnel in Sector 31 and 47 way back in 1970. Chandigarh among the 14 Air Force stations across the country where houses were constructed under Married Accomodation Project.  

Residents of top floor say that rainy season is the worst period for them as rainy water seeped in from all corners of the ceiling, ruining the walls and electric gadgets. While those reside on the second ground floor scared all the times as the ground floor houses ceiling and walls caved in. “Another fear is of wild growth and gigantic dangerous trees in the courtyards an invitation of poisonous snakes and insects are potential dangers to the residents and the houses.   

The official of the air force revealed that in 2005, the authorities have constructed 500 more houses for air force senior personnel.  Of these 500 houses,  20 houses were constructed for Squadron Leaders, 280 for NCOs and airmen, 55 for Warrant Officers, 144 for airmen at the cost of around 35 crore. These houses can be categorized in ‘livable condition.’

Residents have been left dangerously, inadequately secured and appeared black spots on the face of ‘City Beautiful.’ But personnel have no option but to continue living in these because they cannot afford rental accommodation in Chandigarh. It is a call on the authority to clean up their act and do something about weak, derelict buildings before there is mishap


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