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HindustanTimes Sat,23 Aug 2014

RTI activist files plaint against non-assessment of challans

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Ludhiana, May 04, 2013
First Published: 18:15 IST(4/5/2013) | Last Updated: 18:16 IST(4/5/2013)

A city-based RTI activist has filed a written complaint with the principal secretary of department of local government against the building branch of municipal corporation regarding the alleged gross discrepancies in non-assessment of challans.

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Through an RTI application filed with the building branch, Rohit Sabharwal, president, Council of RTI Activists, came to know that a large number of challans issued for violation of building bye-laws had not been assessed by the branch for a long time.

“I would like to draw your kind attention towards a nexus that is prevailing in the building branch of the municipal corporation, Ludhiana, that is causing loss worth crores to the public exchequer and is giving corruption a new height,” stated the letter by Sabharwal.

“I filed an RTI application regarding this matter and on receiving the information on the same, I found that since 2000, more than 3,500 challans have not been assessed by the building branch of the MC. Earlier also on the same matter a complaint was filed, but no action was taken,” the letter stated.

There is a mandatory as well as statutory provision that the challans be assessed within a provided timeframe. However, even after passing of more than 10 years, the officials of the building branch have not assessed several challans.

According to the RTI reply by the building branch, there are 669 challans to be assessed by Zone A of the MC, 819 challans by Zone B, 649 challans by Zone C and 1,401 challans by Zone D.

“All the officials are working hand in gloves with the owners of the buildings who have violated the building bye-laws and therefore are not deliberately assessing the challans. By doing so, they have caused huge loss to the public exchequer,” the letter added.

Sabharwal has demanded from the principal secretary that a vigilance inquiry be marked and all movable as well as immovable property of the guilty officials be checked in order to reveal all facts in the matter.

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