Gabria embroiled in byelaw row

A group of Akali leaders,accompanied by a few residents of Labour Colony near Gill Road...

Written by Express News Service | Ludhiana | Published: March 29, 2009 3:33:28 am

A group of Akali leaders,accompanied by a few residents of Labour Colony near Gill Road,were up in arms against an alleged construction by Cabinet Minister Hira Singh Gabria at the same site where the Municipal Corporation had carried out a demolition drive three years ago stating that the construction was against building byelaws.

In protest,they staged a dharna outside MC Commissioner G S Ghuman’s residence today and blocked traffic for about an hour leading to harassment of commuters.

A resident Vikram Singh said,“Three years ago,the MC building branch had demolished a part of the house of one Jandu Singh stating that it was an illegal construction. Now,we are surprised to know that the same piece of land has been purchased by Cabinet Minister Hira Singh Gabria and is being used to make his existing office nearby more spacious. The structure is under construction but no one from the MC has come to check the site or demolish the structure.”

The residents also submitted a memorandum to the MC Commissioner in this regard. Ajit Singh,another resident,said,“The earlier demolition drive was conducted by Gabria and now he himself is violating the rules.”

However,when Newsline contacted Gabria,he said,“Not even a single resident of Labour Colony was part of the protest.

A few outsiders with vested interests wanted to malign my reputation. The demolition carried out three years ago was only on that part of the structure which was encroaching upon the road. We are carrying out construction on the rest of the site for which we have proper records from the MC. So,I need not worry about anything.”

When asked whether a faction of SAD leaders could be behind the protest,he smiled and said,“I don’t want to comment on the issue.”

Building branch officials,meanwhile,remained mum over the issue of construction. “All this is a political game and is being done at a high level,” said an officer on condition of anonymity.

The protestors,meanwhile,have demanded immediate demolition of the structure under construction.

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