MC skip­ping de­mo­li­tion drives de­spite high court or­ders

HT Ludhiana Live - - Front Page - Ar­jun Sharma ar­jun.sharma@hin­dus­tan­times.com LUD­HI­ANA:

Anti- en­croach­ment drive of the mu­nic­i­pal cor­po­ra­tion seems to be hit­ting rough wa­ters as one af­ter an­other four drives have been post­poned cit­ing tech­ni­cal rea­sons.

The drive of the MC seems to be jinxed as of­fi­cials of the build­ing branch have not been able to ini­ti­ate the antien­croach­ment drive in many ar­eas that was started af­ter the Pun­jab and Haryana high court or­ders. The MC had formed a master plan for dif­fer­ent ar­eas so that de­mo­li­tion of il­le­gal struc­tures could be car­ried out in prop­erly.

How­ever, dur­ing the past some­time the MC has post­poned four anti-en­croach­ment drives in dif­fer­ent ar­eas cit­ing dif­fer­ent rea­sons.

The MC is also claim­ing that the de­mo­li­tion drives that have been post­poned would be con­ducted af­ter proper process is car­ried out.

The MC has also post­poned its de­mo­li­tion drive at Salem Tabri to be held on Fri­day as the of­fi­cials are scru­ti­n­is­ing the doc­u­ments pro­vided to them by the build­ing own­ers of the area. It is sup­posed to de­mol­ish the build­ings that have en­croached upon 5-me­tre land from the main road ac­cord­ing to the or­ders of the high court. Build­ings that have been con­structed af­ter 1995 are sup­posed to leave 5-me­tre space from the road.

The MC re­ceived first set­back on March 13 when it de­ferred a de­mo­li­tion drive at Gur Mandi in old city area of Lud­hi­ana as the shop­keep­ers who were protest­ing against the drive tried to give it com­mu­nal colour.

Thirty shops were sup­posed to be de­mol­ished in the area on the or­ders of Pun­jab and Harayana high court. MC of­fi­cials were ac­com­pa­nied by many po­lice of­fi­cials and equip­ments to de­mol­ish the 30 shops that were built along­side a tem­ple. Th­ese shops are il­le­gal and al­legedly built on the MC land.

The sec­ond set­back was re­ceived by the MC in just eight days on March 21 when the MC thwarted a de­mo­li­tion drive at the Talaab Bazaar. The sit­u­a­tion went com­mu­nal be­cause the shops were lo­cated close to the tem­ple in the area and shop­keep­ers protested against the drive. Nearly 400 shop­keep­ers protested against the MC af­ter which the drive was post­poned.

The re­cent drive on April 2 at Hae­bowal Kalan was post­poned when the po­lice were not able to pro­vide se­cu­rity to the MC of­fi­cials who were sup­posed to de­mol­ish il­le­gal struc­tures in the area. Po­lice told the MC of­fi­cials that there was a test of head con­sta­bles on the given date af­ter which the drive was post­poned.

A se­nior MC of­fi­cial said, " The MC is post­pon­ing the de­mo­li­tion drives one af­ter an­other. This could land the MC in a se­ri­ous prob­lem af­ter some­time as the drive has been or­dered by the high court."

MC com­mis­sioner RK Verma has not tried to fill the loop­holes be­fore th­ese de­mo­li­tion drives. De­layed tac­tics and last-minute ex­per­i­ments are the rea­sons why the de­mo­li­tion drives are fac­ing a set­back time and again.

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