Only brickbats for a job done well
The court commissioners fended off threats from the land mafia and angry residents to free land worth Rs 15,000 crore of encroachments.Updated: Sep 10, 2008 23:36 IST
The court commissioners fended off threats from the land mafia and angry residents to free land worth Rs 15,000 crore of encroachments.
In the line of duty, some were also assaulted.
Over clearing large swathes of land of encroachers, the commissioners took a new step: recover the cost of demolition from residents and shopkeepers.
The step would make the government richer by Rs 3.8 crore, they calculated.
Still, their efforts to curb illegal constructions were not taken very kindly.
In 2006, a mob nearly 200 strong vandalised the property of B.L. Vohra, the High Court-appointed member of the monitoring committee. The commissioners reported to the committee.
Rakesh Khanna, one of the commissioners, was assaulted in the line of duty. Pushkar Sood, another commissioner, did his job amid threatening calls.
Civic officials also called for their disbanding.
“The commissioners operated as extra-constitutional authorities. The Municipal Corporation of Delhi is capable of developing a refurbished mechanism to check unauthorised constructions,” said Delhi Mayor Arti Mehra.
Some time ago, the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) also questioned the authority of the commissioners.
DDA officials were asked by their bosses not to blindly follow all orders of the commissioners.
Last year, Delhi’s Lt.-Governor Tejendra Khanna, also the DDA boss, asked civic agencies to wait for his orders before pressing ahead with demolitions in certain residential areas.
The commissioners at that time dubbed it an attempt by the governor to “set up a court above the High Court”.