The Uttar Pradesh Avas Evam Vikas office at Sector 16 Vasundhara has replied to a complaint about illegal constructions and illegal shops running from houses in Vasundhara. However, the Avas Vikas officials rather than taking action against the illegal constructions and shops have given an evasive reply about notices being issued and FIRs being filed and action taken from time to time. Usually this action in the past has been limited to sealing drives of one or two buildings in affected sectors namely 1, 5, 10, 9, 11 among others where illegal constructions on single-unit plots are rampant. The Avas Vikas has also not taken any conclusive action against shops in Sector 16 of Vasundhara abut which complaints have been made over the Jansunwai portal. Due to these shops congestion and traffic jams are commonplace.
Take for example existence of shops along main roads in Vasundhara that are a blatant violation of The UP Avas Evam Vikas Parishad Adhiniyam 1965. The shops are being run from single houses that is not permissible. However the Avas Vikas officials have turn a blind eye to these violations. Senior officials of the engineering department complain about lack of staff strength and expertise in going after illegalities. However, the Avas Vikas officials fail to explain why they are coming up with new colonies like Sidhhartha Vihar when their staff strength is so low.
Ghaziabad based activist Sushil Raghav pointed out that UP Avas Vikas created Vasundhara colony to meet the acute shortage of housing in Ghaziabad back in 1990s. The mandate of Avas Vikas is to build housing and not allot commercial space to private developers but it has done so thereby violating the law. Raghav said that UP Avas Vikas did not have the mandate to allot commercial spaces to private developers in the form of shopping plazas and markets as Vasundhara was meant to be a purely residential colony since its time of inception. The purely commercial spaces are in contravention of the provisions through which land was acquired from the villagers for developing Vasundhara. He said that whatever commercial spaces were to be created had to be created by Avas Vikas, that it has in many sectors—mainly as convenient stores for buying grocery, vegetables and things of daily use.
Three replies received from three construction divisions Executive Engineers in Vasundhara are very generic in nature and only point to notices beings sent and FIRs being lodged against violators. The standard excuse that is made by the officials is the non-availability of police force. One of the replies also asks for specifics such as address of particular plot or house for taking action. The Avas Vikas is also bound by a 2004 HC order that has asked it to take action against illegal shops. The Avas Vikas Parishad Adhiniyam of 1965 empowers it to take action against illegal constructions. However despite that, when such an action will be taken is anybody’s guess.