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Things development bodies do

india Updated: Aug 28, 2006 00:44 IST

HOW IS the Ghaziabad Development Authority utilising your money? By footing the telephone bills of the district magistrate, by paying the salary of home guards deployed at the SSP’s residence and by buying cars, not one but 20 of them, for the DM.

This and more shocking facts have come to the fore following a probe by a Vidhan Parishad Committee into irregularities in development authorities, nagar nigams and local bodies.

Talking to Hindustan Times on Sunday, chairman of the House Committee Om Prakash Sharma said there was no justification for what GDA did and it failed to provide any convincing explanation on the issue. He said corruption in the GDA was at its peak.

The 12-member committee also found rampant corruption in Lucknow, Kanpur and other development authorities. The committee in its interim report has asked the government to take immediate steps (lest things go out of one control) to improve the situation.

Sharma said the Lucknow Development Authority had been dilly-dallying on giving information. He said the LDA was yet to provide details of some projects, including the controversial Nehru Enclave.

Sharma said in a flagrant violation of rules, the Kanpur Development Authority (KDA) allotted land meant for weaker sections to big builders.

As per the rules, 85 per cent land should be allotted to economically weaker sections (EWS), lower income and middle income groups. Only 15 per cent of land should go to the people belonging to higher income group. But KDA allotted EWS land for commercial purpose, Sharma said adding, conversion of land use was another major area of concern. He said instead of government, the development authorities had been issuing conversion order.

In Meerut Development Authority, the situation had gone from bad to worse, Sharma said adding, even after a lapse of 17 years, the authority had not been able to provide possession of land to the people in Shatabdi Nagar project. The power line in this colony was laid only on paper and there was fake purchase of transformers also for the project, Sharma said.

He said somewhat a similar situation was prevailing in Agra, Saharanpur, Moradabad, Hapur, Bulandshahr-Khurja and Barielly development authorities. 
The committee’s interim report has asked the government to demolish illegal constructions done after unlawful land use conversion, remove encroachment from parks, make payment of acquired land within three years, simplify policy for housing land and male a clear policy for payment of land.