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Will LDA ?lions? do a little more than just roar?

ERRING BUILDERS may not get to enjoy the festive spirit of the New Year for long. Or so it appears from the warning sent out by LDA to 134 of them to demolish unauthorised portions of their structures voluntarily within 10 days or else be prepared to face the music.

india Updated: Jan 04, 2006 00:14 IST

ERRING BUILDERS may not get to enjoy the festive spirit of the New Year for long. Or so it appears from the warning sent out by LDA to 134 of them to demolish unauthorised portions of their structures voluntarily within 10 days or else be prepared to face the music.

But would the bulldozers really get rolling or LDA would carry out its threat against illegal construction? This is because the development authority’s demolition diktats have a feeling of deja vu about them. Yes, the civic agency may have brushed the dust off the files related to unauthorized multi-storied buildings in the city after being hauled up for laxity by the High Court. The fact remains that a similar exercise intimidating more or less the same builders/owners of launching a crackdown against them was announced by the LDA in December end in 2004 also.

Moreover, if one goes by the department’s recent track record such pronouncements by it have almost always rung hollow in the long run thanks to the clout wielded by the builder-politician-bureaucrat nexus. Or how else would the authorities explain the unbridled construction activity and mushroom growth of unauthorized high-rise commercial/residential complexes right under their very noses even in high-profile and posh areas like Joppling Road, Latouche and Hewett Roads, Hazratganj, Park Road, Shahnajaf Road etc.

The statistics speak for themselves. In March 2004, the civic authorities had submitted a voluminous report 300-page report giving a locality-wise break up of not only 98 unauthorized multi-storied buildings but also the dozens of illegal nursing homes, banks, guest houses and schools being run in residential areas.

This, as per the report included 34 buildings in Hazratganj and Kaiserbagh police station, 33 in Hussainganj, 9 in Gomti Nagar, Mahanagar, 8 in Aliganj, Mandion, 5 in Chowk, Yahyaganj, 4 each in Alambagh, Krishna Nagar and Wazirganj and 1 in Thakurganj. Subsequently, in a revised list prepared by the LDA six months later, their number (unauthorised structures) had gone up to 125. Today their tally stands at 134 and this figure is straight from the horse’s mouth. Repeated concern over civic mess expressed by the High Court from time to time seems to have had little effect on the officials of the regulatory body.

So is it simply old wine in new bottle? If not, then how does the LDA intend to go about executing what is indeed a Herculean task? “We would go by a court ruling which states that the due process of law, that is following the procedure prescribed in the Urban Planning and Development Act, before initiating action in the matter. The public notice we have served in this connection is a first step in this direction,” said a senior LDA officer. We are keeping our fingers crossed.

First Published: Jan 04, 2006 00:14 IST