Every year around this time air pollution levels in Ghaziabad are hovering at their peak even when the pollution monitoring station is installed at a residential area of Vasundhara colony in Sector 16. However, the public perception is that apathy and inaction of the UP Housing & Development Board, popularly known as Avas Vikas has not only led to the illegal constructions thriving but has also played havoc with peoples’ lives, as rising pollution levels have shown.
All along the main road in Sector 16 Vasundhara and further up, law-breakers are running shops from their homes right under the nose of Avas Vikas officials. But rather than hunting the big fish many Avas Vikas officials have found it convenient to train their guns at citizens who in a minor way might have carried out some extra construction indiscreetly. But the big fish— the shop owners running shops from their homes, as well as the builders who have built & sold hundreds of illegal flats have escaped the attention of these ‘vigilant’ officials of Avas Vikas.
Take the example of a Sector 17 D block flat where an Avas Vikas official came calling about a minor construction—that too outside the flat for which he threatens the resident (on a complaint by another resident of the same locality), despite such minor breaches carried out inside a group housing society and not causing any inconvenience to the public. However, these officials turn a blind eye to a range of illegal constructions and violations of bigger building byelaws that exist along the main and internal roads in Vasundhara’s all sectors, that are a major cause of congestion and encroachment and resultant air pollution.
Joint Housing Commissioner (JHC) of Avas Vikas, Meerut Zone, Mahendra Prasad has declared his intent to crack down on such illegalities. Talking to delhincrnews.in he admitted that many such officials have not been transparent in tightening screws on illegal constructions and violation of building byelaws.
The JHC was apprised about the violations existing in Sector 16 and other sectors where several people have been running shops from their houses but this disease is more common in Sector 16. He candidly said that he would not spare any person carrying out such illegal activities and FIRs would be filed against such violations. He further said, that in the past notices and sealing drives were carried out by the Avas Vikas. He promised a major crack down against them so that such violations do not occur at all.
Several shopkeepers of Sector 16 Central Market—that is a legitimate market developed by Avas Vikas said that if the Avas Vikas conducts a drive against the illegal shop owners they will welcome the move as their trade had been suffering due to these illegal shopkeepers.
The Joint Housing Commissioner also said that he would ask the officials to put a lid on illegal construction and sale of flats in several Vasundhara sectors.
–Prasoon Pant, delhincrnews.in