The municipal corporation (MC) of Ludhiana has failed to maintain record of goods that have been seized during various drives against temporary encroachments in the city.
In reply of a RTI application, the MC’s tehbazari wing failed to provide appropriate information showing the entries of seized goods and items returned to the encroachers of Jawahar Nagar Camp.
Encroachers from across the city generally complain that they do not get back their seized goods, especially eatables. According to sources, some encroachers claimed that their seized vegetables, fruits and snacks, including chips, fishes and other goods, were never returned after being seized by the MC during drives.
However, the recent suspension of some employees of the tehbazari wing has raised questions as a few vendors complained that these employees allegedly took seized goods to their homes. But the lower- rung staff of the tehbazari wing denied such allegations.
Besides, city resident Rohit Sabharwal recently sought information under the RTI regarding entries of the seized and goods returned to the encroachers.
Interestingly, the MC has provided a bunch of documents regarding such drives in the past few months, but these documents are not at all accessible. They are neither assembled index wise nor point wise as information was sought.
“There is no proper information about goods seized during encroachment drives conducted earlier this year in Jawahar Nagar. Though there was information regarding some returned goods, we were not able to understand it. The information was provided only for the sake of formality and to get rid of the application,” he claimed.
Sabharwal has now filed an appeal under the RTI to the first appellate authority of the MC to provide proper information.
According to sources in the MC, there are no proper records but some entries are made only to fulfil formalities otherwise many of the seized and returned goods are not generally listed. Questions are being raised over the collection of fine for returning the goods.
BJP councillor Inder Agarwal said, “No receipt is given to any encroacher about seized goods. The MC should start giving receipt and also, there is a provision to charge fine on the spot and it will help improve the MC’s financial condition. There should be no political interference.”
Even the “rehri farhi” federation expressed hope that MC commissioner Pradeep Kumar Agarwal and assistant commissioner Satwant Singh should bring more reforms.
Federation president Tiger Singh said the MC should issue receipt whenever they seize goods. Also, their seized eatables were never returned.
It has been learnt that the MC is planning to launch computerised system to maintain proper records. Earlier, assistant commissioner Satwant Singh had assured that the system would start functioning soon.