Tribune News Service
Bathinda, December 11
Taking lessons from the gruesome Delhi grain market fire tragedy recently, the Municipal Corporation of Bathinda (MCB) has woken up from deep slumber and has sealed six illegal commercial godowns on Tuesday evening. The godowns were being used for commercial purposes for years at Afeem Wali Gali, which is located just 100 metres away from the MC office.
The action has been taken on the directions of MC Commissioner Bikramjit Singh Shergill referring to the directions of the Punjab & Haryana High Court given 13 years ago on a complaint filed by city residents Dr Vitull Gupta and Surinder Katia.
In 2006, Dr Vitull Gupta and Surinder Katia had filed a public interest litigation in the high court, on which the court had directed the MC to take action against all those doing commercial activities or constructions at Afeem Wali Gali.
On November 3, 2008, in a civil writ petition (607 of 2006), the court had declared Afeem Wali Gali as a blind street and as such no commercial activity could take place here. But due to connivance of MC officials, commercial activities had been going on unabated in this street for the last many years.
A few days ago, Dr Vitull K Gupta referring to the high court order had lodged a written complaint with Local Bodies Minister Bramh Mohindra and the MCB Commissioner. In the complaint, he had alleged that commercial activities were going on unabated from residential buildings in Afeem Wali Gali.
He said people were violating building by-laws by converting residential houses into commercial buildings, despite the fact that the commercial map could not be approved in this street.
It is learnt that the Local Bodies Minister directed the MC Commissioner to take action in this matter. Following which, officials of the building branch took the action. They also pasted illegal building notices on these godowns.
The team, which took the action, was compromised of ATP Gurpreet Singh, Inderjit Singh Pawar, Superintendent Pardeep Singh, building inspector Akshay Jindal, Avtar Singh, Jatinder Singh, Sohan Lal and others.
Vitull Gupta said, “He welcomes the MC action against illegal buildings in Afeem Wali Gali, though it is quite late. If MC officials had taken the action on time, many illegal buildings would not have come up here.”
He said he failed to understand how illegal buildings came up under the ‘watchful’ eye of officials and even the officials should be made accountable.
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