FAR Construction, Corruption, and Pollution in Delhi
FAR Construction: DDA Officials Defy Vigilance Inquiry in Corruption Case
February 11, 2019
As this organized crime is happening in Delhi, the corrupt government officials and those who support corruption must be jailed if the government really wants to weed out crime and corruption.
By Rakesh Raman
1. In an unscrupulous manner, the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) is giving approvals for extended construction in Delhi’s group housing societies where people are already living.
2. This construction is spreading lethal dust and noise pollution which is poised to harm millions of people including men, women, children – and even senior citizens.
3. The extended construction racket – in which huge corruption is happening – is being run by DDA in connivance with the corrupt managing committee (MC) members of various cooperative group housing societies and dishonest builders.
4. Along with DDA, the other departments involved in this criminal activity are office of the Registrar Cooperative Societies (RCS), Delhi Fire Service (DFS), and Delhi Urban Art Commission (DUAC).
5. While DDA officials including Director (Building) and Deputy Director (Building) are blindly giving approvals for harmful extended construction, they are ignoring the directions of the Office of the Chief Vigilance Officer (CVO) and the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC).
6. As the administration (politicians as well as bureaucrats) has completely failed to provide relief to the suffering residents, they are being forced to go to the courts.
7. While DDA is blatantly giving approvals for extended construction, it is ignoring even the court observations as Delhi High Court has stopped extended construction in an ongoing case.
8. The judicial authorities should form a special team to investigate the cases of dereliction of duty or lack of responsiveness by the government officials and such officials should immediately be indicted and suspended from their jobs.
9. Since this is a case of white-collar crime, only the circumstantial evidence in terms of non-compliance of different regulations should be enough to prosecute and catch the culprits.
10. As this organized crime is happening in Delhi, the corrupt government officials and those who support corruption – such as MC members of housing societies and builders – must be jailed if the government really wants to weed out crime and corruption from Delhi.
Note: This report also carries a few exhibits which are given toward the end of the report.
While corruption has always been rampant in Delhi Development Authority (DDA), these days DDA officials are exploiting a shady floor area ratio (FAR) policy to harm the public and plunder public money.
Their criminality has reached such an extent that these corrupt officials are brazenly defying even the DDA vigilance department directions. The FAR construction which is spreading lethal dust and noise pollution in and around Delhi’s group housing societies is an illegal act. Still, the DDA officials are giving FAR approvals while circumventing the law and even ignoring court cases that have stopped FAR construction.
These DDA officials work hand in glove with the corrupt managing committee (MC) members of various cooperative group housing societies (CGHS) and dishonest architects and builders to blindly approve their plans to extend the existing flats in housing complexes where people are already living.
Irregularities in FAR Construction
In an ongoing case in Delhi High Court [ Case No. W.P.(C) 286/2018 ] of R. D. Apartments in Dwarka, a Commissioner appointed by the court has found extreme irregularities in the FAR extended construction which was deceptively approved by DDA.
According to the Court Commissioner’s report, the irregularities in FAR construction include the fraudulent change in the size of balconies, construction of unplanned pillars / structures, risky concealment of gas pipelines, violation of fire safety norms by obstructing the movement of fire tenders, blockage of natural daylight, and many other violations.
Consequently, the court stopped FAR construction at R. D. Apartments and asked the MC of the Society to clear the construction debris. Now, for the past over a year, the R. D. Apartments building stands in a dilapidated, ruined state where it is difficult for people to live.
But unfortunately the corrupt DDA officials who approved the dubious extension plan submitted by the MC members of R. D. Apartments have not been prosecuted or punished. Similarly, the MC members who misled the Society residents / members to take money for the illegal FAR construction have not yet been penalized for their criminal act.
As huge corruption money in the form of bribery is apparently involved in such FAR construction approvals, the DDA officials are blatantly breaking the law and putting human lives to risk. [ Click here to read the FAR report. ]
These corrupt officials have gone so berserk that they are giving FAR approvals even to those housing societies where they know that the MC members are already facing multiple government-instituted corruption inquiries.
For example, take the case of DPS CGHS (Sector 4, Dwarka) where the MC members are facing investigations for serious cases of crime and corruption. The DPS CGHS MC members openly claimed in their documents that they will pay lakhs of rupees (as liaison fee, another term for bribe) through a fraudulently appointed architect firm to take FAR approval from DDA and other departments.
While DDA officials have been repeatedly informed about the ongoing corruption at DPS CGHS, they preferred to ignore the warnings even by the Office of the Chief Vigilance Officer (CVO) of DDA and the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) and approved the FAR construction plan of an estimated Rs. 15 crore at DPS CGHS. [Exhibit 1 and Exhibit 2 ]
The CVO Office of the of DDA through its letter dated 28.11.2018 under directions from CVC asked the Director (Building) of DDA to investigate the DPS CGHS corruption case and how the FAR approval was given to DPS CGHS. However, Director (Building) as well as Deputy Director (Building) of DDA defied the CVO directions brazenly and did not respond.
Clean House Anti-Corruption Social Service
This report is part of our exclusive community-driven anti-corruption social service “Clean House” that helps the suffering residents of Delhi raise their voice against the growing corruption and injustice in cooperative group housing societies where millions of people live. Click here to visit Clean House.
Failure of Administration
On 28.12.2018, the DPS CGHS residents / members including senior citizens – who are facing corruption and criminality of DPS CGHS MC members – met the Director (Building) of DDA and submitted a representation signed by more than a dozen members with the request to stop the FAR construction / repairs planned by the MC because this construction will cause pollution and other disturbance in the building.
They also informed the Director (Building) of DDA that many members are not in favour of FAR construction while the DPS CGHS MC members have given false information in DDA to get FAR construction approval using unfair means. [ Click here to study the full case along with documents of DPS CGHS and DDA corruption. ]
Instead of taking action, the Director (Building) of DDA asked the visiting members to approach the office of the Registrar Cooperative Societies (RCS) to get the RCS inspection into the corruption case of DPS CGHS expedited.
On January 9, 2019, the aggrieved DPS CGHS members met the RCS officials and submitted a detailed representation for getting the DPS CGHS MC removed from office. They also urged the RCS office to appoint an administrator in DPS CGHS and start the pending corruption inquiry. This is the responsibility of the RCS office to instantly remove the corrupt MC members from housing societies.
Now, RCS office has reopened the corruption case of DPS CGHS and the last hearing was scheduled in the RCS court on February 5, 2019. But since the DPS CGHS MC members are still holding their positions, their criminality has not stopped. [ Exhibit 5 and Exhibit 6 ]
With the dubious approval for FAR construction that they got from DDA, they are forcing each flat owner to pay lakhs of rupees for FAR construction / repairs. Obviously, DDA is part of this criminal act as it has cleared the FAR plan without verifying the undertakings given by DPS CGHS MC members. Now despite warnings by the CVO, the Director (Building) of DDA is not taking action to cancel the FAR approval of DPS CGHS.
As the Director (Building) and Deputy Director (Building) of DDA are not following the right procedures while giving FAR approvals, a thorough departmental inquiry must be initiated against them to know their role in this illegal scheme which is fraught with corruption. The DDA officials are blindly accepting the false undertakings given by the MC members while applying for FAR approvals. [ Exhibit 7 ]
According to the 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.”
Thus, approval for FAR construction is clearly a case of corruption. While Delhi Fire Service (DFS) and Delhi Urban Art Commission (DUAC) are also part of the FAR construction racket in Delhi as they are also giving blind approvals, they contend that they are simply following the directions of DDA without assessing the harms being caused by FAR construction.
For example, with its letter dated 23.01.2019, Delhi Fire Service (DFS) informed me that the FAR extension of DPS CGHS was referred to DFS by DDA. So, DDA is responsible for it. [ Exhibit 3 ]
As FAR construction is spreading deadly dust and noise pollution in Delhi, the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) with its letter dated 22.01.2019 also urged the Vice Chairman (DDA) to take action so that pollution could be controlled. But the Vice Chairman (DDA) ignored the DPCC advice and did not respond. [Exhibit 4 ]
As all these corrupt departments are only sending some irrelevant letters here and there without checking corruption, the political and bureaucratic corruption is increasing in Delhi.
The corrupt politicians and arrogant bureaucrats must realize that they are public servants and should not behave like dictators. If they can’t suitably address public grievances, they have no right to occupy the government positions. They must be kicked out. The sooner the better.
The Integrity Bulletin
In order to inform the global anti-corruption agencies about extreme corruption in Delhi, this report will also be published in the March 2019 issue of The Integrity Bulletin which covers local and international corruption news and issues. I have been creating and publishing The Integrity Bulletin in collaboration with the Centre for Transparency and Accountability in Governance (CTAG), National Law University (NLU), Delhi.
1. Further approvals for FAR construction in occupied housing societies must be stopped and already constructed structures under this scheme must be demolished – with financial and legal penalties imposed on MC members and those members who paid for FAR projects.
2. The services of government officials in DDA, RCS, DFS, DUAC, and others who are slow in response to the public or not following the statutory procedures must be terminated immediately.
3. When the prima facie case is established, the corrupt government officials as well as corrupt MC members in group housing societies must be jailed for their criminality while the onus should be on them to prove their innocence.
4. The members of public who complain against corruption should not be harassed by asking them to furnish documentary evidence because no documentary evidence is required in a white-collar crimes such as fraud or corruption. Only circumstantial evidence in terms of non-compliance of statutory procedures should be enough to prosecute and punish the wrongdoers.
5. As it is not possible for most complainants to approach the conventional courts, it is the responsibility of the administration (politicians and bureaucrats) to provide speedy justice to the suffering people. This should be part of the essential governance.
6. While dereliction of duty is also a crime, the inefficient and delinquent officials must be indicted and suspended from their jobs.
7. The government has no right to show a public complaint as disposed of by simply sending it to some other department or giving a perfunctory reply to the complainant. A complaint can be disposed of only when the justice is fully delivered as asked by the complainant.
By Rakesh Raman, who is a national award-winning journalist and social activist. He is the founder of a humanitarian organization RMN Foundation which is working in diverse areas to help the disadvantaged and distressed people in the society. He also creates and publishes a number of digital publications on different subjects.
About Rakesh Raman
Rakesh Raman is a national award-winning journalist and social activist. Besides working at senior editorial positions with leading media companies, he was writing an exclusive edit-page column regularly for The Financial Express (a daily business newspaper of The Indian Express Group).
Nowadays, for the past about 8 years, he has been running his own global news services on different subjects. He also has formed a free Education and Career Counselling Center for deserving children at a poor J.J. Colony in Dwarka, New Delhi under his NGO – RMN Foundation.
He runs an exclusive community-driven anti-corruption social service “Clean House” to help the suffering residents of Delhi raise their voice against the growing corruption and injustice. He also has formed an environment-protection group called Green Group in Delhi.
He creates and distributes a number of digital publications that cover areas such as technology, law, environment, education, corruption and transparency. These publications include The Integrity Bulletin that covers international corruption news and issues.
He has created a comprehensive online information service to educate the Indian voters for the upcoming Lok Sabha election scheduled to happen in 2019.
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.
463, DPS Apts., Plot No. 16, Sector 4
Dwarka, Phase I, New Delhi 110 078
You may please contact me on my email.
Here are the exhibits:
Exhibit 1: DDA CVO letter to Director (Building) DDA in DPS CGHS corruption case.
Exhibit 2: Letter from DDA to Dy. Director (Building) and RCS office about DPS CGHS corruption.
Exhibit 3: Letter from Delhi Fire Service to state that DDA is responsible for FAR approval.
Exhibit 4: Letter from DPCC to Vice Chairman (DDA) about FAR construction.
Exhibit 5: Letter from RCS office about the corruption case of DPS CGHS.
Exhibit 6: Inquiry ordered by RCS office to investigate financial and other irregularities committed by the MC of DPS CGHS.
Exhibit 7: DDA officials are blindly accepting the false undertakings given by the MC members while applying for FAR approvals.
You also can read the above report in the e-book format which is given below.
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