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Delhi Assembly debates MCD's demolition drive

Written by: Staff
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New Delhi, Mar 2 (UNI) An opposition-sponsored adjournment motion against the Sheila Dikshit government on the issue of the ongoing demolition of illegal constructions in the capital was rejected by voice vote tonight after a five-hour debate in Delhi Assembly.

Replying to the debate, state Urban Development Minister A K Walia denied the Congress government had any role in the demolition activity. Neither did the government have control over land nor over the MCD's master plan, he said.

Only 438 of the 3,200 colonies of the capital were as per plan, he informed. There was need to change the master plan. Till February 28, the MCD had taken action against 1,450 properties for violating building bylaws, he informed.

He denied the government had put any pressure on the MCD to implement building bylaws in the Lal Dora areas and expressed hope the court would provide relief when the case comes up for hearing before it next.

Earlier, initiating the debate, Leader of the Opposition Jagdish Mukhi accused the government and the MCD of working in tandem on the demolition matter. Eighty-five per cent of the capital's buildings, including those housing Members of Parliament, had violated building bylaws yet selective action was being taken, he alleged.

Holding the Chief Minister ''directly responsible'' for the demolition drive, he demanded her resignation. The Delhi Metro too had violated building bylaws, he maintained.

Members, including Ramveer Singh Bidhuri (NCP), Harsh Vardhan (BJP) and Subhash Sachdeva (BJP), took the government to task for saying that the demolition work was in response to court directives.

''Will the courts run the Delhi administration,'' asked Ramesh Bidhuri (BJP).

Nearly two dozen legislators from both the ruling and opposition parties participated in the debate. Ms Dikshit was present in the House for sometime during the discussion.

UNI VN LR PM2102

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