A day after high drama was witnessed at the back of Orient Cinema,BRS Nagar,where an MC team had gone to remove temporary slum encroachments,more than 150 in number,the civic body remained divided on the issue.
Moreover,as the Newsline team visited the spot,the jhuggis were not only springing back to their earlier slots,Dish TVs of every brand right from Tata Sky to Airtel and Videocon were running on the ‘kundi’ connections in almost every jhuggi.
On Wednesday evening,not only the slum dwellers attacked MC tehbazaari wing superintendent Naveen Malhotra and ATP Rajinder Sharma with stones,but both the MC officials also had an ugly argument with each other over jurisdictional responsibility.
On Thursday too,the status remained the same with the jhuggis acquiring their earlier space on MC land again and the MC officials indulging in blame game.
Malhotra said,”The responsibility of tehbazaari wing lies with temporary encroachments like rehris,gensets,and vehicles on MC land and roads,and not the slums. It is clearly the responsibility of the department of town planning. But still we need to work with coordination.”
However,Rajinder Sharma,assistant town planner,zone D,said,”Slums completely fall under temporary encroachments and it is the work of tehbazaari wing. Yesterday evening all I said was that we are leading a joint operation,although responsibility lies with tehbazaari to which he (Malhotra) reacted badly.”
He also denied that slum dwellers were setting up slums again and said that re-checking would be done.
When contacted,Isha Kalia,zonal commissioner-D,said,”As per MC laws,slums are temporary encroachments and they fall with tehbazaari but since land belongs to MC,town planning and tehbazaari need to lead a joint operation rather than blaming each other. After all,we all work for MC in the end.”
Commenting on the illegal power connections,P S Dhaliwal,deputy chief engineer (admn),Ludhiana,PSPCL,said,”We have a power theft branch and all culprits are booked. Still,if some specific areas are left,we will get it checked and action will be taken.”