The Rampur district administration Wednesday demolished ‘Urdu Gate’, which was constructed during the previous Samajwadi Party (SP) government’s tenure by senior SP leader and then urban development minister, Azam Khan, in the city on grounds that the gate was causing public inconvenience and constructed without due permission. The administration also took possession of a PWD guesthouse and power sub-station constructed using government funds and allegedly later brought within the premises of Khan’s Jauhar University by raising boundary walls. To take the possession, the administration demolished a part of the university’s boundary-wall to connect the two places with the road leading to the city.
“We have demolished the gate. There was a PWD bungalow (guesthouse) and power sub-station which was constructed in 2014-15 and was not being used, so we took that in our possession. This is a routine administrative step. I had received a complaint in this regard and an inquiry found that the construction of the gate was done without following the norms and was causing public inconvenience. Thus, the step was taken,” said District Magistrate (DM) Anjaneya Kumar Singh.
He added, “The approval for sanctioning of the fund for the construction was for a gate, not for a low-beam gate. The agency that did the construction was supposed to take No- Objection Certificate (NOC) as the construction was done on PWD land. There was no approval or NOC from the PWD and other agencies concerned. For the construction, it was said that it would stop heavy vehicles and prevent accidents. However, the traffic was not diverted between the two junctions and added to one more accident spot by obstructing traffic.”
“The PWD bungalow and power sub-station earlier had access by a public road through the varsity but it was closed later by the university authorities. After that, the bungalow and sub station were brought within the university premises through a boundary wall with no public access. Neither anyone was benefiting from the sub-station, nor the bungalow was being utilised for last two years. Therefore, what we have done is that we demolished a wall from the side of the sub-station land (belonging to the power department) and connected it to the road,” said the DM, adding that more action could be taken based on further probe.
He informed that the action was taken after a complaint was received by one Mustafa Hussain on February 25 stating that he had lodged a complaint in this connection in the past too and even after his allegations were found to be true, no action was taken. A five-member team from the administration conducted an inquiry and on the basis of their findings, the action was taken on Wednesday.
In December last year, a four-member team from UP Police wing, Special Investigation Team, had visited Rampur to collect documents related to an ongoing investigation into several allegations of illegal construction and land transfer against the Jauhar University. SIT had then informed that the team was sent as part of an investigation handed over to them by the state government last year. The allegations included irregularities in land reportedly transferred to the varsity, land owned by Waqf Board given to the varsity in an illegal manner, some illegal constructions and others.
Meanwhile, the DM said he had written to the government that action should be taken against the officials responsible (of Jal Nigam’s C&DS unit which had constructed the gate) and the construction money should be paid by them. He said that the gate was constructed with an amount of around Rs 40 lakh in 2014-15.
Additional DM J P Gupta said the Urdu Gate was constructed parallel to a flyover connecting Jauhar University to the city and had no obvious use. He added that it appears the only motive behind the gate was to prevent traffic from going to the side of Jauhar University. Azam Khan’s residence is at a distance of around 1 km from the gate.
Azam Khan did not respond to phone calls.