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The Supreme Court bench of Justices Madan B Lokur and Deepak Gupta on Wednesday (July 18) came down heavily on the laxity of the Delhi government on encroachments that have plagued the National Capital. Justice Lokur ordered that a 48-hour show-cause notice be served to all owners of unauthorized constructions.

At that Attorney General K K Venugopal appealed that 48 hours was a rather short time and that there wasn’t enough manpower. To that Justice Lokur said: “You have manpower, but you have sleeping manpower.”

Justice Lokur also made it clear that during the entire process all officials on duty should have police protection.

The case continues through a PIL filed about large-scale and flagrant violations of unauthorized immoveable properties that have come up throughout Delhi.

Today Justice Lokur pointed out the 700 cases of violation that had been identified and asked what the officials were doing about it. At that the AG said that these were pending. The judge said that it was said that there was 695 km of encroachment in a state like Delhi.

The judge brought up the sad state that Mumbai is in now because of the floods, and how Minto Bridge had been flooded, mostly because of overburdening of civic amenities.

The AG explained what steps were taken by the authorities. He said: “We have come up with a law that if any new unauthorised construction is done in any area  then the officer in-charge will be prosecuted personally.

“We have taken many steps:

  1. Action plan for monitoring all construction in Delhi.
  2. On all unauthorised construction, action will be taken promptly.
  3. A mobile appplication will be developed where people can complain and action will be taken.

“Give us an opportunity so that with all these guidelines we can take action.”

–     India Legal Bureau

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