MCD files FIR for removing `unauthorised` pyre platforms

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.

PTI



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

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