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Why aren?t bulldozers roaring?

india Updated: Aug 22, 2006 00:09 IST
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THE LDA's much-publicised drive against illegal structures in the State Capital has turned out to be an eyewash. Otherwise, how else would its officials explain their self-induced inertia over the fact that action against not a single unauthorised building has been initiated more than three months after the development regulator published the hit list of over 300 illegal constructions. 

Equally lacking has been the response of LESA and Jal Sansthan authorities, which were supposed to snap the power and water connections of these illegal buildings in a concerted operation motivated by Supreme Court ordered crackdown against such constructions in New Delhi. To a question as to what action had been taken by the LESA in the matter, its General Manager AK Singh's reply was: “Come to my office tomorrow at 11 am for the information.”

Action against 32 illegal structures was recommended to LESA and Jal Sansthan by the LDA in the first phase of the drive. “We had chalked out an action plan.

But just when we were about to embark on the exercise, we were restrained by the LDA on the ground that they would be providing us a fresh, revised list of illegal structures,” said a Jal Sansthan official requesting anonymity.  The LDA officials, however, put the ball back in LESA and Jal Sansthan's court saying that the revised list had been made available to both the agencies.

So, as the blame-game continues, a LESA official revealed an interesting bit of information reflecting the approach of the authorities in the matter. “It so happened that our enforcement squad reached the house of an influential person to snap his power connection as his name figured in the list provided to us by the LDA,” said the officer.

The person at the receiving end sent an SOS to an LDA official, who promptly arrived on the scene to save his friend.

The LESA official, however, insisted that a plausible reason was needed to call off the exercise. “Tell LDA to fix a date for the demolition and that you would snap the power connection just before the drive,” pat came the suggestion from the LDA official.

The illegal constructions were classified into following four categories: unauthorized commercial premises in residential localities, structures that had made deviations from their approved building plan, those that had encroached on parking spaces and the ones that were totally illegal.