Although Ghaziabad Development Authority (GDA) is continually carrying out demolition and sealing of illegal constructions, like the recent drive in Indirapuram rattling the illegal traders, it has gone slow in carrying out any worth mentioning drive in Vaishali so far. The colony is a hub of illegality as not only many residents along the main road but on internal roads also are violating the building byelaws. Although notices were served to as many as a mammoth 8,000 illegal traders the real action against them never took place.

The residents of Vaishali however are demanding that such illegal commercial activities should stop. Many whom spoke to were of the opinion that such illegal shops must go as due to these streets remain congested and polluted, affecting their health

Vaishali faces traffic jams as well as pollution levels are high due to commercial activity happening out of houses. All this is severely risking the health and lives of lakhs of residents and office goers who do not have to do anything with such activity.

Although the GDA vice chairman, Kanchan Verma has initiated a major sealing drive against illegal commercial establishments in Indirapuram recently, it finally was toned down after these traders approached the public representatives who mediated for a solution that entails not crossing their limits (in this case a red strip drawn by GDA outside such shops). But this is a temporary arrangement as no commercial activity can be carried out in housing colonies. It is also unfortunate that public representatives have been siding with these illegalities rather than siding with the GDA.

With air pollution on the rise in winter months and Ghaziabad ‘topping the charts’, the GDA should take a cue from the recent Supreme Court judgment that has asked the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) to act tough against air pollution in Delhi-NCR, even going to the extent of punishing senior officials. As any sort of commercial activity in housing colonies is a cause of air pollution the GDA ought to act with full fire-power now citing the SC order even to the public representatives. This sould mean giving no leeway to any illegal commercial activity of any sort.


Prasoon Pant, 



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