Chandigarh architects have asked the UT administration to make suitable amendments in building bylaws to allow habitable use of basements in commercial buildings. Since there is acute shortage of commercial space in the city architects want that the basements should be allowed for habitable purposes with conditions like having in place two staircases in case of fire emergencies, installation of required fire safety equipment and restriction on partitions.
Earlier, the habitable use of basements of shop-cum-offices (SCOs) was permissible under certain conditions. Keeping the risks like fire hazards in mind, the Chandigarh administration, in its rules/guidelines notified last year, had withdrawn habitable use of basements under all categories. Now its usage is restricted to storage purposes only.
The architects also urged on relaxing parking norms pertaining to Marla houses. The UT Administration was told that when building plans of Marla houses were previously approved, there was no parking norm. But now, irrespective of the size of the plots, provision for parking three cars has to be made. Demands were also made to amend light and ventilation norms.