The Delhi High Court on Wednesday directed the municipal corporations to ensure that no unauthorised construction takes place in the national capital and warned that non-compliance of its order would result in appropriate action against the officials and persons involved.
A bench of justices Badar Durrez Ahmed and Siddharth Mridul also directed the authorities to cooperate with each other to ensure there is no illegal construction in Delhi. It also sought a response of North and South Delhi Municipal Corporations as well as DDA on pleas alleging that rampant unauthorised construction is going on in Badarpur and Pahargunj areas as well as on the river-bed of Yamuna.
The bench directed them to file their affidavits within 10 days indicating what action has been taken by the nodal steering committee in respect of properties mentioned in the petitions as well as in the areas under their control.
Delhi Development Authority (DDA) was also directed to file a similar affidavit indicating action taken/to be taken by them insofar as unauthorised construction in their zones is concerned. During the proceedings, the court queried how illegal construction is going on without the knowledge of the officials of the municipal bodies and said "You allow them to construct, spend money on the construction and when someone comes here, it gets demolished. This is waste of public resources for private gain. Somebody is gaining".
The bench also said that the authorities should endeavour to make Delhi a model example of not allowing illegal constructions as it is the nation's capital.
"Imagine if the current situation is the model. What will happen in other cities?" the bench observed.
While the municipal corporations agreed with the court that rampant unauthorised construction has to be stopped, they said that they have a shortage of qualified engineers to inspect premises.
"Then let MCD close down," the bench responded and added, "Do something immediately, else we will have to say no PILs for unauthorised construction as it is out of control and nothing can be done."
"You should give your staff requirements to the government," it added.
The municipal bodies also suggested that matters pertaining to unauthorised construction be referred to the nodal steering committee of each MCD so that the functioning of these panels can be scrutinised by the court.
Earlier, irked over non-compliance of its orders by the municipal bodies to demolish illegal constructions in the national capital, the high court had observed that the three municipal corporations should get together and dissolve themselves and "let the law of the jungle apply".