Saddled with frequent complaints about unauthorised construction taking place under the patronage of councillors, Delhi Lokayukta Manmohan Sarin on Tuesday brought up the role and obligation of a municipal councillor when large-scale unauthorised construction takes place in his/her constituency.
Noting that a municipal councillor is expected to be aware of the happenings in his constituency, the Lokayukta asked: “Should councillors turn a blind eye to the ongoing unauthorised construction to oblige constituents or is there a moral and legal obligation to prevent and stop such constructions?”
Hearing a matter of unauthorised construction being carried out in Rohini Sectors 11, 16 and 17 with the alleged involvement and protection of Councillor and Chairman, Rohini Zone Parvesh Wahi, the Lokayukta issued notice to the councillor for his response on the above question. The Lokayukta asked the councillor whether he had been fulfilling his responsibilities and duties and observing the norms of integrity and conduct expected.
The Lokayukta said his office receives numerous complaints of unauthorised construction alleging complicity of the municipal councillor, staff of the corporation, police and the building mafia.
“Rarely is there any direct evidence forthcoming regarding the complicity and role of the municipal councillor, or for that matter the municipal staff, unless there is a property dispute or a complaint is received from an aggrieved neighbour,” he said.
He said in the present case the complaint pertained to over 50 ongoing unauthorised constructions. He had issued a notice to the corporation calling for reports. “Having received the status reports showing unauthorised constructions and noting the statement of the executive engineer concerned that he would take further action in respect of unauthorised constructions for regularisation to the extent permissible and for demolition of the non regularised portions,” the Lokayukta while applying quietus observed, “It is not possible for this forum to monitor cases of unauthorised construction”.
He said it was sufficient if the attention of the statutory body – Municipal Corporation of Delhi – was drawn to these unauthorised constructions.