G’bad: Illegal commercial activity & constructions go unchecked in Vasundhara due to Avas Vikas inaction

Non-availability of police force, political pressure and manpower are common excuses given by officials for not acting against violators. The result is pollution, encroachment and congestion

The Uttar Pradesh Avas Vikas officials do not have time for acting against illegal constructions that have spread like a plague in many single-unit plots in Vasundhara Sectors 1,3,5,10 and 11. Apart from these illegal constructions all kinds of commercial activities are being carried out from single-unit houses in practically all sectors however Sector 16 & 15 are more deeply affected by it.

As a result, residents of this township bordering Delhi, have to live in an environment where they have to face daily congestion on the roads as well as rising pollution. According to Superintending Engineer of UP Avas Vikas in Vasundhara, Narsingh Prasad, “The drive against illegal constructions and shops could not be taken up once again due to Arthala Lake removals and non-availability of police force that was help up there.”

However, the Avas Vikas has been dragging their feet on the issue of illegal constructions and illegal commercial activity since ages and always come up with an excuse to bail out the offenders who are flourishing without fail. An Executive Engineer of Avas Vikas told this journalist that whenever notices are sent to these offenders, especially shopkeepers, local politicians stand in their favour.

However the above fact does not explain how any politician, local or otherwise can stop a government servant from doing his job when the unlawful activities are easily documented. The same official also said that primarily it is the task of the Sampatti Vibhag or the Estate Dept to send notices to these offenders but they do not do so.

Since the last many years such excuses have worked to the advantage of these illegal shop owners and builders. The UP Avas Vikas act clearly says that any person indulging in such unlawful activity such as illegal construction or using house as a shop can be dealt with in a very stringent manner—it means that sealing and demolition beside cancellation of allotment of such property can be done. However, not a single case exists where such extreme step has been taken.

In fact, a 2004 order of Allahabad High Court has dismissed the petition of Vasundhara traders who requested for compounding of offences of land use (that is from housing to commercial) but the HC dismissed their petition citing it to be illegal.

The commercial complexes built by Avas Vikas are mostly unoccupied or worn out whereas illegal shop owners are having a field day.

By Prasoon Pant

(E-mail: editordelhincr@gmail.com)