Coming down heavily on the Delhi government, Lokayukta Justice Manmohan Sarin on Thursday recommended removing encroachments on public land and unauthorised construction in Jhilmil colony in east Delhi.
Sarin also recommended a day’s token suspension of Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) councillor Preeti Behn, who has been allegedly found guilty of unauthorised construction.
If the government fails to remove encroachment for any reasons, he alternatively suggested allotting the encroached land at higher rates and in situ regularisation confirming with existing laws.
The recommendations with several suggestions vis-à-vis the allotments came after an inquiry prompted by a complaint by an anonymous person regarding unauthorised construction and encroachment in that area.
After the Delhi government admitted that there was no plan for sale and/or regularisation of encroached land and that the MCD or Delhi Development Authority removed encroachments, Sarin observed, “We are confronted with a situation where in the last 50 years, the impasse of encroachment of public land has continued uninterrupted.”
“The administration or the government of Delhi, irrespective of the party in power, has not shown any political will to remove or resolve it. MCD authorities tacitly accept that action on such a large scale for removal of encroachment or demolition was not possible,” Sarin said and recommended, “Implement or change the rules.”
Earlier, when it was discovered during investigation that Preeti too had carried out unauthorised construction, she tried to wriggle out by trying to sell it.
Preeti provided a list of about 60 MLAs/councillors with their properties constructed on encroached land and/or in unauthorised manner.
This had resulted in MCD charging the defaulting public functionaries regularisation fees.
Making a case of violation of norms of conduct against her, Sarin said: “There can no excuse for councillors themselves indulging in unauthorised construction and encroachment on the plea that same was widely prevalent.”
However, in view of her effort to provide list of 60 elected representatives, he just recommended for a day’s suspension of the municipal councillor from the House.