Locals say three friends with powerful political connections are behind several illegal constructions in Chandni Mahal, including one that collapsed on Tuesday
Builders and contractors having a nexus with powerful politicians is no hidden knowledge. In the case of Chandni Mahal collapse too, it has come to light that the illegal construction work was going on with full support from some politicians and local police. In the recent past, they cut down a 100-year-old Peepal tree to start the construction work, by bribing local police and forest department.
Under the rubble: National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) personnel
engaged in rescue efforts at Chandni Mahal on Wednesday.
The locals have alleged that Anil Sharma, Sunil Sharma and Sanjay Sharma are carrying out huge illegal construction work and the police are hand in glove with them. All three are reportedly on the run after the incident. The neighbours had complained against them in this regard to the forest department, but their pleas fell on deaf ears as the 'sound of money' had preceded them.
"Three months ago a Peepal tree was cut down by the builder. We complained to the forest department and local police. But the local police and forest officials who visited the spot were bribed by the builder and no action was taken against him," said Rashid Khan, whose cousin died in the incident on Tuesday night.
The neighbour said that Anil was carrying out some construction work at his building, which collapsed due to digging work. The collapse of his building led to the razing of an adjacent building too.
Delhi police registered an FIR under Section 304 (culpable homicide) of IPC against the owner and contractor of the building. However, no one was arrested in connection with the incident. "The police have filed an FIR against Anil Sharma, who owns the building. The contractor, Haji Jalaluddin, has also been named in the FIR," Rajan Bhagat, Delhi police spokesperson said.
Cops may face action
Senior police officials posted with Chandni Mahal police station can face action for not taking any step to stop the illegal construction in their area. A senior police official, on the condition of anonymity, said that the builder did not approach MCD for permission. He said that few MCD officials are also involved in the illegal construction that is being carried out in the area. "Action will be taken against whosoever is found guilty," he said.
A Delhi police head constable, whose name was not verified by this reporter, reportedly demanded Rs 500 from the driver of a dumper who was taking out the rubble of the collapsed house. The accused intercepted the dumper and scolded the driver for entering into a narrow lane. He then asked the driver to pay Rs 500 or face challan. The driver of the MCD dumper then complained to a senior police official. SHO, Daryaganj, received the call in this regard.
Sheila pushes for MCD split again
Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit got fresh fuel to target MCD on Wednesday. She said the process of MCD split should be expedited. "We would like to get the approval from the Home Ministry by October so that we could complete the entire process ahead of the municipal polls," she said. The Home Ministry, earlier this month, had returned the proposal wanting to know specifically what would be the administrative structure, distribution of funds and how the city government plans to ensure proper coordination among three proposed bodies. "We have finalised our response to the queries today and it will be sent in a day or two to the Home Ministry. Queries were related to distribution of funds and segregation of the staff," she said.
Joint commissioner denies MCD allegation
Joint commissioner of police (northern range) Sudhir Yadav denied the allegation by the MCD that deputy commissioner (city zone) has given a written complaint to police regarding illegal construction in Chandni Mahal. He said police had not received any complaint from the deputy commissioner . "According to Section 466(A) of Delhi Municipal Corporation Act, police can take action against a person who indulges in illegal construction only if there is a complaint from an officer of the corporation not below the rank of a deputy commissioner," Yadav said. However, he said, acting on this, police went to the spot and asked the contractor and owner not to carry out any illegal activities there on September 25. "Police's role was limited in this case," he said. Yadav said police always provides assistance to MCD whenever they seek it for carrying out sealing or demolition activities. "We cannot carry out sealing or demolition drives. It is the job of the MCD," he said.