MCD files FIR for removing `unauthorised` pyre platforms
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Last Updated: Monday, December 27, 2010, 18:46
New Delhi: The Central Information Commission has slammed the MCD for filing a police complaint against Arya Samaj for removing "unauthorised" semi-VIP pyre platform and railings erected by the social group at the Nigam Bodh Ghat crematorium here.

The Nigam Bodh crematorium has different standards of pyres - 'VIP', 'semi-VIP' and 'ordinary'. When activist S C Agrawal asked through RTI application as to who ordered the newly built semi-VIP platforms resulting in discrimination at the cremation ground, the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) washed its hands off saying it has not given any such orders.

Later, it came to light that Arya Samaj, which was given responsibility of maintaining the crematorium by the civic body, had unauthorisedly erected these railings.

After the matter sparked a public uproar, Arya Samaj started removing these railings.

However, during a hearing on Agrawal's plea before the Central Information Commission today, the officials of the Samaj informed the panel that that MCD has filed a police complaint against them for removing these "unauthorised" railings.

"The Commission notes the irony that MCD had not been keen to stop what it claimed was unauthorised putting up of railings and creation of semi-VIP crematorium. However, the fact that it has now rushed to file a police complaint for the removal of unauthorised structure reveals the mind and method of functioning of MCD," Information Commissioner Shailesh Gandhi pointed out.

He said "it is ironical that MCD appears to be not very keen to remove unauthorised structures but has become very vigorous in complaining about the removal of 'unauthorised structures'."

The MCD Health Official N K Yadav has even claimed that the semi-VIP platforms were more than 25 years old and no records of their creation are available, an argument which did not stand as these platforms were found to be recently built.

Gandhi said MCD had "originally" claimed that they had no hand in creation of these semi-VIP pyres and they had not given any permission for such a "grotesque differentiation amongst dead human beings."

The MCD had also come under fire from Urban Development Ministry which found that it was sitting on a public grievance complaint filed at Rashtrapati Bhavan in the matter.

The Ministry has written to the civic body seeking explanation for not acting on the complaint even after eight months as against two month of statutory requirement.

In a related plea against the MCD, Gandhi also issued show-cause notice to the civic body for not providing information to Agrawal within statutory time limit of one month.


First Published: Monday, December 27, 2010, 18:46

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