While the Supreme Court has taken the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) to task for failing to check rampant unauthorised construction in the capital, it is not the only civic agency responsible for the construction chaos. The city's apex planning agency, the Delhi Development Authority, too has a lot of answering to do.
The Action Taken Report prepared by DDA for September 2006 — which has already been sent to the Union Urban Development Ministry — shows just how guilty the development authority is of inaction.
Of the 245 cases that DDA's Land Management Department booked for unauthorised construction, the agency took action in only 25 cases. Of these, in 13 cases the agency managed to remove unauthorised construction on government land.
The agency could remove only 48 structures, including temporary constructions and boundary walls, and reclaimed 4.46 acre of land.
The story repeats in cases of violation of building bylaws. In September, DDA's building section issued showcause notices in 29 cases where building bylaw violations were detected, while it passed sealing-cum-demolition orders in 15 cases.
DDA's housing department is no better. While the agency booked 49 cases of violations, it took action in 27 cases.
The Delhi High Court had on January 18 directed that along with MCD, DDA should also make a list of all unauthorised constructions in its areas and take action against them. It had also asked DDA to put the entire list on its website.
Since the directions, DDA has not only created a website but also set up a control room to register and monitor complaints related to unauthorised constructions. However, when it comes to taking quick action against law-breakers, it leaves much to be desired.