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Arvind Kejriwal

2 January 2006

Aruna Roy, member of National Advisory Council (NAC) and founder member of National Campaign for People’s Right to Information (NCPRI) has demanded transparency in the demolitions of illegal structures that the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) is undertaking.

Welcoming the reported statement of Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit that the details of all the 18,000 buildings booked by MCD in the past for various violations, would be put on the Internet, Roy in a letter jointly written with Shekhar Singh, also of the NCPRI, has demanded that the list of buildings that have allegedly violated various laws and liable for demolition should be made public. "This is not only in keeping with the principles of transparency but would significantly reduce the confusion and harassment of the citizens of Delhi," she has said.

In addition to the list of buildings, Roy and Singh have also asked that the names of all the officers responsible for allowing such violations should also be put on the website. Further, the criteria being used by the Delhi Government/MCD to select the structures that they should demolish or seal, and in what order, should also be made public, the activists have asked. Their concern is that action against illegal structures must be taken in a just manner.

Parivartan, an NGO working towards bringing transparency and accountability in governance, is also demanding that the entire process of demolitions should take place with complete transparency. Pointing to a seeming confusion about the definition of "demolition", Parivartan has noted that whereas some structures were being completely razed, others were being let off with minor damages. In addition, the action taken by the MCD against misuse of residential premises for commercial purposes does not seem to be uniform. Whereas, some structures have been demolished, others including some big showrooms were let off with just sealing.

What guidelines govern such decisions? Absence of any such clear guidelines could be a fertile ground for further corruption. MCD needs to clearly make its stand clear on all these issues. The people have a right to know all this information under the Right to Information Act.

Arvind Kejriwal
2 Jan 2006

Arvind Kejriwal leads the New Delhi non-government organization Parivartan. www.parivartan.com. Parivartan is at G3/17, Sundernagari, Delhi-93. Tel : +91-11-55254077. Email : parivartan@parivartan.com.

Citizen Direct is India Together's channel for publishing reports from citizens who have detailed information about specific civil society concerns and matters, by virtue of their participation, association, or independent observation. These reports are therefore as witnessed and understood by the authors themselves; India Together accepts no liability or responsibility for them.   More

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