Although erected on a piece of land that revenue records show as an erstwhile johar (small community water body), a smartly camouflaged communication tower was left untouched by the administrative machinery at Khirkee village in Malviya Nagar on Wednesday.
The administration carried out an operation for clearing encroachment on the northeastern edge of the johar (also called jhor in some official records). The action was taken as part of steps to revive the water body following a Delhi High Court directive.
Nobody in the neighbourhood knows who erected the tower on the southern edge of the erstwhile water body.
It looks like a tall artificial coconut palm tree rising above the temple in the vicinity.
Revenue records show that the erstwhile johar covered 7.17 bigha (approximately 2.86 acres) and held ample water till about 15-20 years ago.
However, all that remains now is a park with a road running around it and rows of houses on the northern and western side.
It was in July that the administration had first carried out demolition/encroachment removal action following the High Court order.
A family occupying a plot of land on the northeastern edge of the johar had obtained a stay for the same then. Later, in September, the High Court had vacated the stay.
However, no action was taken since then to remove encroachment on this plot of land measuring 650 sq yards.
SDM Juhi Mukherjee said, "Unavailability of the police force due to the Commonwealth Games prevented us from taking action earlier. (However) if we had not taken any action before November 30, the next date of hearing, it would have led to contempt of court."
Along with this, a large strip of land on the southern edge of the park was freed from encroachment in July.
The tower has come up on the same land more than a month ago.
"I was alerted about the tower just two days ago and I have now written to both the MCD and the police to check its veracity," Mukherjee said.
Although S K Midha, deputy commissioner of Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD)'s south zone, expressed ignorance about the tower, he said, "If it is unauthorised, it will be pulled down as early as possible."