Two days after 67 people were killed and more than 80 people injured, the Delhi Police and the Municipal Corporation of Delhi are engaged in a blame game.
While the Delhi Police have claimed that close to 23,000 intimations about unauthorised construction sent to various agencies concerned fell on deaf ears, the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) said they are hardly given any police support for demolition/sealing drives to keep a check on unauthorised constructions.
"It is the concerned civic agency's responsibility to take action," said Dharmendra Kumar, joint commissioner of police (New Delhi).
However, according to the MCD, which is supposed to take action on all illegal constructions in its jurisdiction, all their sealing and demolition drives that were planned this year were cancelled at the last moment due to non-availability of adequate security arrangements.
"For almost the whole year due to the Commonwealth Games we were not provided police force and after that US President Barack Obama's visit also resulted in stalling of our demolition and sealing plans. We have resumed our drive against illegal construction," said a senior MCD official.
"The Delhi Police have no powers to demolish unauthorised structures. We can only inform the agency concerned. The MCD has not even acted on 1% of the complaints forwarded to it. They are supposed to intimate us about a demolition drive two days in advance, which they never do," said a senior Delhi Police officer.
MCD officials further claimed that most of the unauthorised constructions were carried out by the property owners taking advantage of the Commonwealth Games and the festival period following when the police force was not made available to the civic body.
MCD officials said a number of times their workers were beaten up by angry mobs while carrying out the drives
"We can't risk our lives while carrying out such drives. If security is not provided to us how can they expect us to conduct such drives?" added the official.