EVEN A decade after forking out Rs 10 lakh towards development charges for their colony, Ganraj Nagar residents continue to run from pillar to post for basic amenities like drains, electricity and roads.
The stench of the sewage waste on the streets haunt the inhabitants of the colony, located behind Mayur Hospital in ward 36, who paid the money to the Collectorate Colony Cell in ’97 for building civic infrastructure.
The Cell has since been transferred to the Indore Municipal Corporation (IMC), corporators have come and gone as have most of the original plot-holders. But the promised development has remained a dream.
“In the absence of drains the water is waist-deep during the rains. It mixes with sewage waste to create a terrible stench and leads to diseases like malaria and jaundice”, revealed Rajendra Dhiman, newly elected president of Ganraj Nagar Residents Welfare Association (RWA).
The area, flanked by IDA Scheme No 94 on either side, was colonised by one Babulal Parsandia in the late’80s who sold 800, 600 and 450 square feet plots at prices ranging from Rs 6,000 to 12,000.
Most of it were bought by petty traders and those working in the unorganised sector. The residents’ woes began after the Collectorate Colony Cell issued a letter on June 13, 1997 notifying that their colony was among those shortlisted for regularisation by the administration. The 130-odd plot owners were asked to shell out Rs 14 per square feet for drainage, sewage lines and roads to be deposited at the Manoramaganj branch of Canara Bank with in a week.
“A total of Rs 10,57,420 was deposited by the 108 plot owners in a current account at the bank”, revealed Dhiman. The money was handed over to the IMC after the Colony Cell came under its jurisdiction. But the woes continue even under the new regime.
“Then in charge of the Colony Cell SK Jain told us that we’d have to pay Rs 11.50 lakh as fine for failing to leave the 10 per cent open space mandated by law. He said the money already deposited would be adjusted against this due and asked us to deposit an additional Rs 1.5 lakh. And we agreed even though as per rules the fine is to be levied on the coloniser and not residents” said Dhiman.
“Despite this we are turned away on some pretext or the other every time we approach the Colony Cell”, he rued. Dhiman said the delay is also adversely affecting the residents’ investment. “Although it is well located there’s no appreciation in property prices as the colony is yet to be regularised”, he said.
Ward 36 corporator Nirmala Laddha: Former Municipal Commissioner P Narhari directed that a new account be created for development charges deposited by Ganraj Nagar residents.
However, he was transferred shortly afterwards. The case is being delayed as the Colony Cell needs clearances from the Nazul department as well as determine whether diversion tax has been paid. Also the Cell is currently head-less with the previous head having been transferred without a successor.