Beijing halts construction of illegal basements
Beijing is putting a halt to illegal construction of basements after such work caused neighboring houses and part of a road surface to collapse in the city, forcing 15 people to be evacuated.
The collapse and its aftermath highlighted rampant underground construction at houses with courtyards by some billionaires and those seeking to cash in on providing underground shelters for low-income people in the city. In Beijing, more than 50 migrant families were told last week to leave 170 rooms that had been illegally constructed in a basement the size of a soccer field.
A government office in Beijing said in a statement that renovation work more than 1 meter deep without permits in residential areas is illegal, and that the municipal government will fill in basements or holes caused by illegal construction work. It will do so when property owners refuse to restore homes to their original condition within three days of being ordered to do so.