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Blame game on,Oppn for probe

A day after Newsline broke the story on government findings that its amnesty to illegal colonies was ridden with fraud,its departments have begun a blame game.

Written by Ravi Bajpai | New Delhi | Published: February 4, 2012 2:31:25 am

A day after Newsline broke the story on government findings that its amnesty to illegal colonies was ridden with fraud,its departments have begun a blame game.

On Friday,the Urban Development department issued a press release stating that they were examining the report. “The report referred to in the news item (in Newsline) is under examination and it has been prima facie noted that there has been an error in the interpretation of the provisions of the (amnesty) Regulations,” the release stated.

When Newsline sought Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit’s comments on Thursday,she said she hadn’t gone through the report and couldn’t comment. She said she’ll hold a meeting next week to examine the report.

According to the Urban Development department’s release,the government will submit its response at a hearing on March 1 before the Lokayukta,who has already taken cognisance of the case.

The Urban Development department said it has already cancelled amnesty given to four illegal colonies. “The department has issued showcause notice to 123 other unauthorised colonies. Till now,the government has cancelled 43 Provisional Certificates of Regularisation.”

According to the release,“The Provisional Certificates of Regularisation are no guarantee that an unauthorised colony will be regularised in due course unless it meets with the prescribed eligibility conditions fulfilled.”

In his report,Divisional Commissioner Dev had said that provisional amnesty certificates drove up real estate rates and helped land grabbers cheat innocent buyers.

Opposition parties on Thursday demanded a criminal probe into the findings.

Leader of Opposition VK Malhotra said a First Information Report (FIR) must be registered immediately. “The CBI should be asked to probe the case. It should be ensured that only officers are not targeted. Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit is equally responsible for this fraud and her role must be probed,” Malhotra said.

Nationalist Congress Party member Ramvir Singh Bidhuri,who was the first to point out the irregularities last year,said all recommendations of the report must be implemented immediately.

Bidhuri said,“The report clearly brings out in the open the collusion between officials and land grabbers for perpetuating this fraud on the citizens of Delhi.”

He alleged that Urban Development and MCD officials colluded to pass off plots of vacant land as habitation to drive up real estate rates and fleece buyers.

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