Ludhiana, January 19
Known for dragging its feet in removal of encroachments, especially those where politically connected persons are concerned, the Municipal Corporation acted swiftly for a change and secured possession of a 60 square yard piece of land with a market value of over Rs 3 crore in the commercial pocket of Jawahar Nagar camp locality here.
On January 17, 2020, the president of Council of RTI Activists, Rohit Sabharwal, lodged a complaint with the CM’s office with copies to the Principal Secretary, Local Government, Punjab, the Director of Local Bodies, Punjab, and the MC Commissioner.
He alleged in the complaint that certain corrupt officials of the building branch, in connivance with political leaders, were instrumental in encroaching on the said piece of land, and the shed illegally constructed on the plot had been rented out to set up temporary shops with a total rental collection of Rs 50,000 per month which was to be divided among the conspirators. Sabharwal had demanded a vigilance probe into the said encroachment so that conniving officials could be identified.
As per an e-mail message from the CM’s office with copy to the complainant, the complaint was forwarded at 3.52 on January 17 to the Principal Secretary, Local Government, for necessary action. It must have been due to the matter being taken up with the top officials with the MC here that the very next morning (on Jan 18), the shed was demolished and the plot cleared of all encroachments.
It has been further learnt that the MC authorities have directed the building branch to construct a boundary wall around the piece of land to secure it from any further attempts of encroachment.
Garbage dump turned into commercial place
The piece of land, a property of the civic body, was earlier used for dumping garbage by the residents as it was lying unutilised. Sensing potential of the plot if used for commercial purpose, some influential persons, allegedly backed by a ruling party leader, got the land cleared and a shed was constructed overnight and even rented out for temporary shops, according to area residents.
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