Encroachers get a free run

Encroachers get a free run

Lokayukta slams successive govts for not removing illegal construction

Slamming successive Delhi governments for not showing political will to remove  encroachments upon public land for the last 50 years, Lokayukta Justice Man Mohan Sarin on Thursday recommended one-day token suspension of Vivek Vihar municipal councillor Preeti Behn, who was found guilty of letting unauthorised construction on her property in Jhilmil Colony.

 The Delhi Lokayukta has asked the government to remove encroachments upon public land. DH file photo

The recommendations were made after an investigation was launched based on an anonymous complaint.

He also asked the government to remove encroachment upon public land and unauthorised construction in Jhilmil Colony in north-east Delhi.

He said if the government can't evict the encroachers, then the land should be alloted at higher rates, and a scheme to regularise unauthorised construction should be formulated.

“We are confronted with a situation where in the last 50 years, the impasse over encroachment upon public land has continued uninterrupted. The administration or the Delhi government, irrespective of the party in power, has not shown any political will to remove or resolve it,” said Justice Sarin.

“Besides, rampant unauthorised construction has been continuing... Municipal authorities tacitly accept that large scale action to remove encroachment is not possible,” said Justice Sarin.

He also recommended removal of encroachments upon public land and demolition of illegal structures within six months.

‘Officials violated norms’

The Lokayukta found Preeti Behn guilty of violating norms of conduct. She had candidly admitted that unauthorised construction on public land in Jhilmil Colony, including her property at A-99, has been carried out with the knowledge of municipal officials.

“Municipal councillors are expected to be role models for compliance with municipal laws. There can be no excuse for councillors to indulge in unauthorised constructions and encroachments on the plea that the same is widely prevalent,” observed Justice Sarin.
However, after considering Preeti Behn's personal circumstances, the Lokayukta recommended a token suspension of just one day.

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