Ludhiana, April 22
While violations of building bylaws and illegal change of land use in most of the colonies developed by the Ludhiana Improvement Trust (LIT) continue, the inquiry initiated by the government into violations committed in Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar could not be taken to its logical conclusion due to non-cooperation by the guilty officials and employees.
Besides, a probe launched by the Vigilance Bureau into illegal change of land use by owners of the shop-cum-flats in the same colony nearly five years ago has also met a similar fate.
That the field staff and supervisory officials of the Trust, said to have colluded with the violators – both in the case of residential buildings and SCFs in the colony, had deliberately created hurdles in the way of probes, has been put on record more than once by the Directorate of Local Government, Punjab, and the Regional Deputy Director of Local Bodies based in the city.
In a recent communication (S2-DLG-TSC-16555 dated April 12, 2019) to the Executive Officer of the LIT, the Directorate of Local Government, Punjab, has referred to its two earlier letters (dated May 22, 2018 and September 17, 2018) on the subject while reiterating that the report on the ‘alleged violations with remarks’ sought vide the aforesaid letters had not been submitted.
The LIT officials have been directed to submit the report within one week or be prepared for the consequences in case of non-compliance.
The Executive Officer of the LIT, Harpreet Singh Sandhu, said no such letter had been received so far.
“As and when it is received, a report would be sought from the engineering branch and reply would be sent as per the directions of the government,” he added.
In this regard, secretary of the Council of RTI Activists, Arvind Sharma, had filed a complaint with the government about brazen violations of building bylaws through excess coverage, house line violation and illegal gates on the rear side of the residential houses (towards main road) for partial or full commercial use of residential properties.
“Most of such construction against the building norms and illegal change of land use (a non-compoundable violation) of residential properties has been carried out in collusion with the field staff and supervisory officials of the LIT, who turn a blind eye towards these dubious activities for monetary gains,” Sharma had complained, adding that in a similar manner most of the shop-cum-flat (SCF) owners in the main market of the colony had raised construction in violation of approved building plans and on the top of it all, residential portion of the SCFs was being put to commercial use in all buildings without exception.
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