Thursday, January 18, 2018
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house lusty citizens

The Mumbai  scenes of demolition of a multi-storey complex must have sent shiver down the spines of those who have been duped into building such houses in Allahabad as well. Everyone is desperate to own a house. In a hurry the buyers do not pay heed to the intricacies of the legal  requirements which are mandatory.

They do not even care to see how ultimately, when such matters have gone to the courts, the apex court has shown no mercy and houses built in a hurry without fulfilling the mandatory requirements have ultimately to face the bull-dozer. They are assured by the corrupt elements in the  ADA that all will be well if you tread the path shown by them. They lead you till a distance, then get transferred or retire. You  might have paid the corrupt  intermittently, some money to keep the wolves away. But once the court comes into the picture, the bitter end has to be faced.  If the bribe takers are still there fleecing others, they will pretend that they had never met you before! And if they have not retired, they will be nowhere near the site of demolition when your illegal structure faces the bull-dozer. People in a hurry, who have been purchasing land in Allahabad   even in prohibited areas, are now  on the verge of facing the axe—especially those who were duped by builders and the corrupt elements among the  ADA staff into constructing houses  on river banks.

The people of Allahabad would be doing a great favour to themselves if they don’t fall into the rosy trap laid by builders in connivance with the corrupt elements in the ADA to dupe them, fleece them and then move away. What happens to such house owners?  I would like to remind them of the heart-rending scenes relating to the demolition of 104 flats in Mumbay’s  Campa Cola  housing colony which were witnessed on TV news channels on   Wednesday morning. These  must have left all viewers stunned, benumbed, shocked and heart-broken. The demolition was  ordered because the houses were illegally built and the case had gone up to the Supreme Court which  gave no concession to the defaulters even though they had been staying there for the last 24 or 25 years, some children, some old, some physically disabled, some unemployed, some also sick.  Compounding fees too had been extracted from them. It was indeed a pitiable sight watching them weeping and wailing, sobbing and screaming, turning hysterical at times  and demanding why they have not been offered alternative dwellings as is done even in the case of land encroachers who pay no taxes, no rent? They have paid all taxes, And yet they are not being given alternative accommodation to say nothing of refunding all taxes, including property tax, which were being collected from them all these years?. But the law enforcement agencies had their orders and showed no mercy.
 Apparently the scenes of the suffering of the people and their pleas that they had been cheated were also seen  by some one in the Supreme Court as well. Apparently they also heard defence arguments coming out in shrill cries from the throats of the aggrieved—arguments that might have been missed by the defence lawyer. According to reports, the SC took a suo motu cognisance of the standoff at the compound and ordered the BMC  (Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation) to delay the demolition till May 31, 2014. The  apex court  gave the residents seven months to vacate the illegal flats in the compound as there was no relocation plan in place. The Supreme Court bench said that it was badly disturbed by the developments that took place at Campa Cola complex. The bench also directed the attorney general to submit specific proposal for a permanent solution to this problem and asked him to reply before November 19. It questioned the BMC for failing to take action against erroneous builders, who were actually responsible for the situation.

It may be noted that the seven high-rise buildings were constructed at the Campa Cola compound between 1981 and 1989. The builders had permission for only five floors, but constructed several more. While one of the buildings has 20 floors, another has 17. How is it that the BMC did not notice this? Were they blind? Or had their eyes been bandaged with wads of currency notes of the highest denomination? How can they be allowed to go unpunished? The residents, alleged  that they were  singled out for action despite over 55,000 illegal constructions in the city,If at all someone was at fault, it was the builder as well as the municipal officers who allowed the illegal construction to come up. Why are they being spared? Why are they being spared in Allahabad too?

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