An enclave of brothels, drug joints & mafia
IT WAS billed to be a state-of-the-art colony with garden, swimming pool, market, gymnasium etc etc. But what we have is a shameful stretch called Nehru Enclave with brothels and drug joints as criminals rule the roost. This colony, in the heart of the city (Gomti Nagar), has 800 flats but only 300 are legally occupied. And the rest are with shady characters.india Updated: Apr 09, 2006 02:02 IST
IT WAS billed to be a state-of-the-art colony with garden, swimming pool, market, gymnasium etc etc. But what we have is a shameful stretch called Nehru Enclave with brothels and drug joints as criminals rule the roost.
This colony, in the heart of the city (Gomti Nagar), has 800 flats but only 300 are legally occupied. And the rest are with shady characters.
Such is the scare among the authorised residents that after sunset they avoid stepping out of their houses as anti-social elements are seen lurking on every nook and corner of the colony.
The enclave was planned to be LDA’s dream colony. The dream has been shattered. The residents are now forced to live in filth and fear.
Though the price of a flat here is around Rs 12 lakh one can get a flat on rent at Rs 500 per month. Unbelievable! Power and water supply is free. All one has to do is to break the lock of a flat and barge in with belongings. If a potential buyer turns up don’t be panicky, contact the ‘LDA babu’ for an alternate arrangement.
Well known names of the underworld -- Mukhtar Ansari, Babloo Srivastava, Dhananjay Singh, Abhay Singh, Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh and Brijesh Singh -- have occupied several flats here. Criminal gangs carrying sophisticated firearms and moving in the dead of night are a common sight. Trigger-happy gangsters often fire in the air causing panic among the residents.
The district administration has established a police outpost and constables have been deputed there. But the outpost remains deserted, even as the constables have grabbed adjacent flats. Residents have been left pondering over their fate as illegal activities run right under the nose of the police and LDA officials.
Hindustan Times reporters visited the colony at night to take stock of the situation on the request of some authorised residents. When they were near a flat suddenly two girls jumped out of the balcony of the flat and ran towards a car parked on the road. Three youths jumped out of the same balcony and chased the girls but they sped away in the car.
At another flat there was no response from inside even after continuous knocks.
The reporters then pushed the door and walked in. Around half-a-dozen youths were lying in an inebriated state with liquor and ganja scattered around.
The colony has been divided into four sectors -- Rupayan, Vatayan, Pushpayan and Premayan. The worst-effected are Pushpayan and Premayan, located in close vicinity of the Juggauli village.
“We are helpless” the residents said. “After investing Rs 10 to 15 lakh we are left with no other option but to remain mute spectators to the activities of anti-social elements. No one is ready to purchase our flats,” they said.
Fear was writ large on the face of the residents though they talked freely about their problem, but with request that their names should not figure in the newspaper report. The ladies informed that few flats had been converted into makeshift brothels. “The customers start coming at dusk and stay till early morning. They pass lewd remarks at the girls and women moving on the road,” they said.
The residents had informed SSP Ashutosh Pandey and SO of Gomtinagar police station about their woes, but in vain. “We have been left to the wolves,” an elderly woman said adding: “There is no boundary wall, no security and criminals roam freely. It is difficult to leave the house for a day or two, you never know who will break the lock and occupy your house”, said another resident.
Few days back they met the LDA VC BB Singh and drew his attention towards the problems. The VC constituted a three-members committee comprising LDA officials KK Singh, Bhupendra Vir Singh and YK Jain to look into the problems. But none of them have visited the colony so far.
We are helpless, says LDA
M Tariq Khan
THE LDA today could not agree more with the plight of the Nehru Enclave residents. “Yes, the colony has become a haven for criminals. But we are helpless. What we need is a heavy contingent of police accompanied by a magistrate to evict these outlaws and restore law and order in the colony,” an LDA official, who, for obvious reasons, wishes to remain anonymous, made this telling comment when contacted by Hindustan Times.
Henchmen of some of the most dreaded mafiosi and anti-social elements have made un-allotted flats of this colony as their hideouts, said the official. But they are not the only source of nuisance. One reason for LDA’s inertia on the issue is the fact that the lackeys of its own officials have forcibly occupied some flats in the building.
“Dislodging these illegal occupants would be a tough task as they may offer stiff resistance. Anything can happen, that is why we are insisting that a magistrate should also be present in case things turn violent during the operation,” he pointed out.
According to sources in LDA, apart from the supervisory staff, some engineers of the department have minted huge amount of money in the name of carrying out maintenance and civic related work in the colony. “An amount of Rs 2 crore was sanctioned during former LDA VC Manoj Singh’s tenure for carrying out necessary repair and maintenance work but the colony remains a concrete mess,” said another senior official, who was approached by the colony’s residents in this connection.
The security personnel that were deployed to keep anti-socials at bay till such time a proper wall around the colony (as promised by the LDA in the brochure of the scheme) was built, too, have been withdrawn without notice. “There are frequent quarrels among the residents over lack of parking space. Though the colony has sufficient number of garages they again are occupied by encroachers,” said an LDA officer adding that only recently one such garage was got vacated with the help of department’s enforcement section.
While property officer in-charge of the scheme KK Singh was not available for comments, executive engineer YK Jain refused to specify any time frame to get the anti-social elements evicted. “All I can tell you is that a drive in this connection would be launched soon,” he said.