To check encroachment in Old Delhi, officials told to send photos daily on WhatsApp
In a novel way to keep a tab on unauthorised occupation at sites in Chandni Chowk which were recently made free of encroachment, the Shahjahanabad Redevelopment Corporation (SRDC) has asked officials from North Delhi Municipal Corporation and Delhi Police to send pictures of the sites daily on a WhatsApp group created for smooth coordination among stakeholders.
A senior official of the Delhi government said the move will also help in fixing accountability of the civic body and police officials responsible for stopped the encroachment.
“Deputy commissioner (DC) of city zone, North Delhi Municipal Corporation and deputy commissioner of police (DCP) (north) will ensure that the ‘Joint Encroachment Prevention Team’ uploads pictures every day on a WhatsApp group to ensure the area remains encroachment-free. The decision has been taken to stop encroachers from returning to the sites, which were cleared by the municipal corporation last week,” said the official.
The anti-encroachment drive was carried out in Chandni Chowk and its surrounding for three consecutive days on November 11-13 by the north corporation.
The official added that in a recent meeting of SRDC, it had been decided that DC, city zone and DCP (north) will maintain database of repeat offenders (squatters) who should be penalised for violations.
Encroachment has been a major issue in the area as both carriageway in main Chandni Chowk market, Subhash Marg from Lal Quila to Delhi Gate, and Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Marg in front of Old Delhi Railway Station have virtually been taken over by squatters and hawkers. The encroachments force pedestrians to walk on the road. At some locations, the vendors squat on the road, which leads to traffic congestion.
Hindustan Times tried contacting DC (city zone) for comments, but the official was not available.
Decongestion of Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Marg
A team of chief nodal officers of SRDC, joint commissioner of police, traffic, and chief engineer of Public Works Department (PWD) inspected SPM Marg on Friday.
“The team found that encroachment had been removed from non-motorised vehicle lanes on the stretch. However, the issue of deployment of traffic marshals could not be resolved. The bone of contention was the cost involved. Both PWD and traffic police have refused to pay the charges. So, it has been decided the authority will take up the matter with the department of environment to check whether funds could be arranged from ‘Air Ambience Fund’,” said the official.
The Air Ambience Fund, set up in 2008, gets 25paise from the sale of each litre of diesel sold in the capital.