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LDA bulldozers to birr again!

THE TREMOURS of recent demolitions of illegal buildings in New Delhi on the order of the Delhi High Court are being felt in the State capital also. And feeling the heat are not only the influential owners of at least a dozen such illegal constructions in Gomti Nagar but also LDA, which has been hauled up for contempt of court for not taking action against these unauthorized structures despite High Court directives. After being pulled up by the HC, the LDA on Monday has served notices on the well-heeled owners of these palatial edifices asking them to fall in line within a week or be prepared to face the music.
None | By HT Live Correspondent
PUBLISHED ON MAR 21, 2006 12:12 AM IST

THE TREMOURS of recent demolitions of illegal buildings in New Delhi on the order of the Delhi High Court are being felt in the State capital also. And feeling the heat are not only the influential owners of at least a dozen such illegal constructions in Gomti Nagar but also LDA, which has been hauled up for contempt of court for not taking action against these unauthorized structures despite High Court directives.

After being pulled up by the HC, the LDA on Monday has served notices on the well-heeled owners of these palatial edifices asking them to fall in line within a week or be prepared to face the music. “The violations are of two type. In some cases, people are undertaking commercial activity in residential areas flouting land-use norms, in others owners of commercial complexes have opened up shops in the basement or area earmarked for parking facility in their building plan,” said LDA Vice Chairman BB Singh.

A look at those on the hit list provides the answer for the LDA’s reluctance to move against them. Sample this: A marriage hall (Saubhagya) is being run from house number 5/34 in Vishal Khand of Gomti Nagar that belongs to Gauri Shankar (ex-MLA Samajwadi Party) and his wife Sangh Mitra (a PCS officer). A commercial complex at 3/187 in Vivek Khand of Gomti Nagar belonging to Sharda Prasad Yadav, a kin of former LDA VC and Excise Commissioner Ganga Deen Yadav, in which area earmarked for parking has been let out to a private telecom giant.

Well, if bureaucrats and politicians can get away by flouting the land-use/building norms, who then can stop those whose very job is to regulate such development activities from bending the rules for their own good. A case in point is that of Shitla Pal Singh, a Sahayak Nagar Adhikari in LDA, who has been accused of allowing commercial activity from his House Number 4/275 in Vineet Khand of Gomti Nagar. Another Samajwadi Party MLA Rajendra Prasad Yadav has built shops in the basement reserved for parking in his commercial complex at Chinhat.

Likewise, others who have similarly flouted land-use/parking norms include Shiv Kumar Khatri 2/15 Vineet Khand of Gomti Nagar, Subhash Jain of Messrs Aarohi Construction CP-1 Vikas Khand Gomti Nagar, Anil Goel of Agarwal Builders, CP-2 Vikas Khand, Messrs GC Construction CP-3 Vikas Khand, Deva Sahkari Awas Samiti of former BJP corporator Dev Narain Mandal at CP-8 and 9 Viram Khand, Govind Plaza at Kamta Faizabad Road owned by Virendra Bahadur Singh and Umrao Market, Gazipur Faizabad Road belonging to Umrao.

BK Singh, lawyer for Surya Kant, one of the petitioners, who has filed a contempt petition in the High Court in this case, however, refuses to believe that LDA really means business. “The HC had pulled up LDA on March 7 in this connection. But instead of taking action, these people are merely completing official procedure and formalities,” he said.  The LDA has time till May 8 to prove him wrong when the matter would come up for hearing again.

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