Instead of investigating the corruption allegations against DDA officials and rejecting future FAR construction proposals, the top DDA officers have preferred to turn a blind eye to all the misdeeds of their staff.
By Rakesh Raman
According to the new Vigilance Manual 2017 of India’s top anti-corruption organization Central Vigilance Commission (CVC), corruption is manifested in various forms such as bribery, nepotism, willful action or willful inaction to benefit someone or to deny benefit to someone known or unknown. It also states that corruption includes cases of favoritism and failure to follow laid down processes leading to unintended benefit to someone or denial of benefit to the deserving.
Notwithstanding the screams of the suffering people in the group housing societies of Dwarka, Delhi Development Authority (DDA) officials have decided to continue with their corrupt practices.
Exploiting the inhuman floor area ratio (FAR) construction policy of the government, DDA officials have joined the crime syndicate of the managing committee (MC) members of different cooperative group housing societies to torture the innocent residents.
While thousands of people in Dwarka / Delhi – which is said to be the largest residential suburb in Asia – have been complaining about the extreme dust and noise pollution that the extended construction activity is causing besides other hardships, the DDA officials are giving approvals for illegal construction activity.
I have started an exclusive editorial section to cover the cases of corruption and other illegal activities in Delhi’s cooperative group housing societies. It will also highlight government’s failure to stop corruption and lawlessness in these societies. If you want me to report about your housing society, you may please contact me with relevant documents and details. Click here to visit the editorial section. Rakesh Raman
The aggrieved residents have repeatedly complained that the DDA staff is sanctioning unlawful FAR construction projects – which tantamount to serious corruption. However, the top brass in DDA has ignored all such complaints. Thus, the DDA corruption has gone rampant.
Case of Kamakshi Apartments
In a recent case, the residents of Kamakshi Apartments, Plot No. 28, Sector 6, Dwarka, Delhi told RMN News Service that the DDA officials have blatantly violated the law and granted permission for an illegal FAR construction work in their Society.
The Kamakshi / Grih Mantralaya housing society residents complain that the DDA officials have granted sanctions for FAR construction while the Delhi Fire Service as well as the Department of Forest & Wildlife of the Delhi Government have raised serious objections and found extreme lawlessness in the ongoing construction project.
The residents say that DDA staffers blatantly violated the law to clear the FAR construction projects which are harmful to people, property, and environment. Obviously, it is argued that criminal proceedings must be initiated against the concerned DDA officials as well as the MC members of Kamakshi housing society.
In a meeting with RMN News Service, the residents informed that they have been repeatedly complaining about the unlawful and corrupt activities in the Society to DDA officers as well as the Registrar Cooperative Societies (RCS) which is supposed to control the Society MC. But, they lamented, both – DDA and RCS office – have not taken any action against the Kamakshi MC members.
RMN News Service sent a detailed email to DDA on October 19, 2017 to take DDA’s response before writing the story on Kamakshi case. However, DDA did not respond.
Lawlessness in Other Societies
Earlier, in a similar case, the residents of R. D. Apartments, Plot 20, Sector 6, Dwarka, Delhi had informed RMN News Service that some DDA officials have granted illegal sanction in their building for extended construction under FAR rules.
The residents alleged that “the sanction order is in flagrant violation of the provisions of Unified Building Bye Laws (UBBL)-2016 and it is a blatant, deliberate and intentional dereliction of duty / abuse of power for unstated quid pro quo by the officials of building section of DDA in granting sanction.”
However, instead of investigating the corruption allegations against DDA officials and rejecting future FAR construction proposals, the top DDA officers have preferred to turn a blind eye to all the misdeeds of their staff.
Now most cooperative group housing societies have become part of the racket being run by the DDA and other corrupt government departments. In fact, the MC members of societies have started earmarking funds to pay bribes to DDA officials and other departments.
For example, DPS Cooperative Group Housing Society in Dwarka, agreed to pay Rs. 8 lakh as “liasioning fee” to the architect firm for getting approvals from DDA and other authorities. One fails to understand if the MC’s proposals / drawings are genuine and legal, why it is paying the liasioning fee for getting the statutory approvals.
In all probability the architect firm will pay this money as bribes to government officials to get approvals illegally because the MC’s proposals / drawings for the proposed construction project violate the “Unified Building Bye Laws (UBBL) for Delhi 2016”.
As the DPS Housing Society is known for its corrupt practices, it is already facing an inquiry directed by India’s top anti-corruption organization Central Vigilance Commission (CVC).
The DPS Housing Society MC members are trying to scuttle the inquiry using unscrupulous tactics. Similarly, they have been trying to block inspection by Delhi Fire Service in the illegal car parking case, and also opposing a serious labour exploitation case in which they are involved.
Despite repeated requests by the residents, the concerned government departments are not taking action against the DPS Housing Society MC members.
Most believe that the departments like the DDA, RCS, Delhi Fire Service, and others are hampering the Indian government’s efforts to weed out corruption from the country and corruption is actually increasing exponentially.
This is also stated in the new “Freedom in the World 2017” report released by Freedom House, a Washington-based independent watchdog organization.
The report has mentioned about the rampant political and bureaucratic corruption in India. It reveals that corruption has a negative effect on government efficiency and economic performance.
“Though politicians and civil servants at all levels are regularly caught accepting bribes or engaging in other corrupt behavior, a great deal of corruption goes unnoticed and unpunished,” the report said in its findings.
Meanwhile, RMN News Service has found that almost all FAR construction projects in inhabited group housing societies are illegal as they violate building as well as environment- protection laws. As such construction activity is also spreading lethal dust and noise pollution, it is depriving people of their fundamental right to live in a clean environment.
Residents, therefore, urge DDA to stop all ongoing FAR construction projects and DDA and other government agencies should not sanction the new FAR proposals.
By Rakesh Raman, who is a government’s National award-winning journalist and social activist. He has formed an environment-protection group called Green Group in Delhi. Earlier, he had been associated with the United Nations (UN) through United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) as a digital media expert to help businesses use technology for brand marketing and business development. He also runs a free school for deserving children under his NGO – RMN Foundation.
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