While the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) has been going hammer and tongs against unauthorised constructions, it has yet to set its house in order.
For example, a part of an MCD school in Seelampur has been taken over by musclemen and converted into an akhara. So instead of resounding with the sound of math lessons, the classrooms are being used as a gym spread over an area of 700 square yards.
In another MCD school in Ballimaran, around 80 square feet of land has been encroached upon by a peon who has constructed a room there.
The basement of another primary school in Matia Mahal has been taken over by shopkeepers to run their business. In Jehangirpuri, three large plots in two different MCD schools have been encroached upon to make way for religious and commercial activities.
These startling facts were brought before the MCD’s Standing Committee by MCD commissioner A.K. Nigam, who had been asked to prepare a report on the extent of encroachments on municipal lands.
Nigam informed the committee members that 27 plots of the education department have been encroached upon.
In majority of the cases, the encroachments have not been removed as the squatters have dragged the MCD to court.
Nearly 25,000 acres of land in the posh South Delhi colony – Greater Kailash part II — are in the hands of encroachers. No action can be taken because of pending court disputes.
While 901 municipal parks have been encroached upon by illegal religious shrines, several properties at Nand Nagari that belong to the MCD have been encroached upon by gurudwaras and temples.
MCD Standing Committee Chairman Jai Kishan Sharma has directed the commissioner to take action against the encroachers within a week.