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Is ADA presenting wrong picture?

IS THE Allahabad Development Authority (ADA) bent upon misleading the high court and the government? The facts seem to indicate so. This is demonstrated by an order that the ADA secretary issued to his subordinates on June 13. The order identifies 21 buildings in one area alone and seeks to paper over violation of norms in many of them. This is in contrast to an HC order, which sought details of buildings in the entire city.

india Updated: Jun 16, 2006 00:06 IST
BK Singh

IS THE Allahabad Development Authority (ADA) bent upon misleading the high court and the government?

The facts seem to indicate so. This is demonstrated by an order that the ADA secretary issued to his subordinates on June 13. 

The order identifies 21 buildings in one area alone and seeks to paper over violation of norms in many of them. This is in contrast to an HC order, which sought details of buildings in the entire city.

In fact, the ADA order goes on to give a virtual clean chit to six buildings owned by politicians and musclemen.

The sequence of events was set in motion on March 6 when the High Court directed the ADA to prepare a list of multi-storeyed buildings in Civil Lines, Katra and Chowk. The court had asked the ADA to see if these buildings were causing traffic bottlenecks and were not in conformity with public safety.

The HC gave these directions following a PIL filed by social activist Anand Mohan. The PIL pleaded for smooth flow of traffic in the city and removal of encroachments from roads.

On its part, the ADA prepared a list of buildings in Civil Lines alone, Anand Mohan alleged.

That was not all. The ADA had earlier prepared a list of 49 buildings in Civil Lines, but whittled it down to 21.

Surprisingly, the list of 21 contains no mention of illegal construction activity in the old city, Chowk, Katra, Muthiganj, Mumfordganj, Bahadurganj, Lukerganj, Teliarganj, Sulemsarai, Stanley Road and several other areas.

Anand Mohan told HT the PIL was not confined to Civil Lines alone, but dealt with the whole city.

A perusal of the ADA order giving a virtual clean chit to some of these buildings and an on-the-spot visit present two contrasting pictures. There is ample reason to believe that the order was prepared under pressure and fear of the powers that be.

Ironically, the vice-chairman issued directions to his subordinates to initiate action in respect of buildings which had been sealed for illegalities committed in the construction. 

The V-C chaired a meeting on May 27 in respect of illegal constructions and non- compliance with parking provisions, particularly on MG and SP Road, in Civil Lines as this was impeding the flow of traffic.

Despite the order, construction work is in full swing at these sites.

Interestingly, the ADA V-C has not come out with any order, threatening action against those building inspectors, JEs, AEs and zonal officers who are hand in glove with builders.

Such is the influence of politicians in the city that the owner of an illegal building misbehaved with a zonal officer after he went to the site to get work stopped.

The building situated at the intersection of Minto Road and Muir Road is not only illegal, but has also encroached upon the road. The building map had been sanctioned for residential purposes, but the structure is allegedly being built in commercial style. Sources said work at the site was stopped by the zonal officer, but reportedly resumed following a phone call by a politician.