MC action against illegal constructions in Ludhiana a ‘farce’

Most of the targeted buildings rebuilt, civic body turns a blind eye

MC action against illegal constructions in Ludhiana a ‘farce’

A spot check of the illegal buildings where action had been taken for violation of building bylaws revealed that the demolished portions had been reconstructed.

Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, August 1

After an outcry, both by councillors of the ruling Congress party and those of the Opposition, during the recent General House meeting against the proliferation of illegal constructions across the city, the building branch of the Municipal Corporation here had taken action against three dozen odd buildings.

However, in the absence of a proper follow-up, or rather connivance of the field staff and their supervisory officials, the so called drive turned out to be a mere window dressing as most of the partially demolished or sealed buildings were reconstructed.

A spot check of the illegal buildings where action had been taken for violation of building bylaws revealed that the demolished portions had been reconstructed. At a few places, more storeys have been raised, while some other buildings were almost complete.

That the so called action of the building branch against the illegally constructed buildings in different parts of the city was no deterrent for unscrupulous builders is evident from the fact that construction of a commercial complex was in full swing behind the Gill Market on the Lohara-Dhandari Road.

Many more commercial buildings are coming up along the Sidhwan Canal in the stretch from Ferozepur Road to Ayali and Beermi villages, falling within the Municipal Corporation limits.

As per a rough estimate, nearly 7,000 illegal buildings have been constructed in all the four zones of the city – Zone D and A being the biggest culprits with over 2,000 such buildings in each of these zones.

Sources in the MC indicated that the field staff (inspectors) and their supervisory officials (assistant town planners) were reluctant to check the menace of illegal commercial and institutional buildings in the city, simply because it was a source of making easy money.

“Money collected from unscrupulous building activity is shared at several levels and that is the reason that those who matter in the Municipal Corporation and even the Local Government Department (in Chandigarh) maintain silence or pretend to look the other way,” said a source.

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