Staff Reporter

MCD Commissioner had recently stated that such act was illegal

NEW DELHI: Despite Municipal Commissioner A.K. Nigam's recent clarification that illegal buildings and structures demolished during the recent drive in the Capital cannot be re-constructed, people in many parts of the city have started rebuilding their houses and shops that were targeted by the Municipal Corporation of Delhi's bulldozers. Even some court commissioners appointed by the High Court to monitor the drive have also found such irregularities in some areas.

This illegal activity is rampant in many areas including Rohini, Pitampura, Kohat Enclave, Patel Nagar, Kingsway Camp, Preet Vihar, South Extension, Karol Bagh, Najafgarh and Janakpuri. Work on several multi-storey illegal structures that were targeted during the drive has already begun, while the zonal civic body authorities seem to have no clue about it.

After queries from Councillors on reconstruction of razed structures in the wake of the new Act granting one-year moratorium on all demolition and sealing activities across the Capital, the Municipal Commissioner had categorically stated in the Standing Committee meeting last week that the Delhi Laws (Special Provisions) Act, 2006, does not allow reconstruction of demolished houses or shops. "Residents whose illegal structures were razed during the drive cannot reconstruct their homes or shops. The new law does not say that one can re-built a demolished structure," Mr. Nigam had said.

The buildings being reconstructed are mainly builders' apartments and shops in residential areas. Interestingly, the MCD field staff has failed to notice these illegal constructions even on main roads including Ring Road. Despite Mr. Nigam's warning of strict action against those officials in whose area such illegal activities are found, zonal officials have so far failed to take any action.

When contacted, at least a couple of Deputy Commissioners, who were told about re-construction of demolished structures in their areas, said they were not aware about any such activity. "Though my field staff have failed to report any illegal construction, I will visit places where the drive was carried out to check whether demolished structures are being re-built or not," said a Deputy Commissioner.