Civic body awakens after 2 years, to penalise 50 building defaulters
Feroze Gandhi market, set up by the Ludhiana Improvement Trust (LIT), is marred by controversies. The illegal floors have also led to grave parking problems in the market and complaints of eve teasing have also cropped up, recently.
As per the LIT scheme, none of the buildings in the market are allowed to have more than four floors and even basements are illegal, keeping in view the size of the parking lots, but almost all the buildings have more than four floors, including reputed banks and other commercial establishments.
Arvind Sharma, Secretary, Council of RTI Activists, who filed an RTI in June 2012 regarding inaction against defaulters, said, "I received a reply to the RTI only after I moved the first appellate authority in July 2012. The reply clearly stated that the civic body had no record or papers of what action should be taken. They did not even have a written record of illegal buildings. I filed a complaint about the same with the Chief vigilance office, Chandigarh, in October 2011, but still no action was taken".
Political pressure was the main reason why the MC was unable to demolish illegal floors, despite issuing notices, said an MC official. However, after four constant complaints were made to the Chandigarh local bodies' secretary in 2012 and January 2013 by RTI activist Rohit Sabharwal describing the 'non-compliance of notices by Ludhiana MC building branch issued in 2011 under the Punjab Municipal Corporation Act, 1976', the MC woke up again on Friday.
Rajinder Sharma, assistant town planner, Zone-D, told the Ludhiana Newsline, "The building owners have been informed in advance. Sealing drive will begin in the coming week. The owners will either have to demolish the floors on their own or watch us seal them." He refused to comment on the reason for the two-year delay.
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