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‘Inaction’: Delhi LG recalls files pending for more than a month from Sisodia

New Delhi, Feb 12 (IANS) Delhi Lt Governor V.K. Saxena has recalled the files of infrastructure projects, interstate expressway and others pending for more than one month at the level of Deputy Chief Minister and Home Minister Manish Sisodia, sources said on Sunday.

“Invoking his powers to recall files under Rule 19(5) of the Transaction of Business of the GNCTD Rules (ToBR), 1993, the LG has ordered to recall from the Home Department all such files that are pending for more than a month at the level of the Minister (Home), i.e. Manish Sisodia. The said Rule 19(5) of the ToBR, empowers the LG to recall files pending inordinately with Ministers/CM, in public interest,” said a LG office source.

“These files have been inexplicably pending since years together due to inaction on part of the AAP government, although all statutory requisite formalities, procedures and permissions have been put in place, with regards to removal of unauthorised religious structures erected by land grabbers after 2009, when the Supreme Court barred any further occupation by such structures and ordered for their removal,” the LG office said.

A Religious Committee was formed in 2014 in pursuance of the SC judgement, to consider and recommend removal of such unauthorised religious structures upon receipt of request by the land-owning agency concerned. The Committee is headed by the Delhi Home Secretary and comprises senior representatives from the Delhi Police and the land owning agencies in Delhi.

“Despite the recommendations of the Religious Committee, to remove ‘unauthorised religious structures’ that have held up several key developmental infrastructure projects in Delhi, the Home Department of Delhi Government headed by Manish Sisodia has kept 78 such proposals from various agencies pending since May 2022, prompting Lt. Governor, VK Saxena to recall these files,” it added.

The proposals for removal of unauthorised religious structures pertain to the construction of Delhi-Saharanpur Expressway, government residential flats under General Pool Residential Accommodation (GPRA) at 7 locations pending since 2018 and decongestion of 77 corridors. The decongestion of the 77 corridors which is pending since 2017 due to the “inaction” of the Delhi government, is extremely critical for smooth traffic flow and mitigation of air pollution in the Capital, said the LG’s office.

The Delhi-Saharanpur Expressway, which is a part of the Delhi-Dehradun Expressway, is a time-bound project being monitored at the PMO level and has been pending since 2018. The Home Department had even written to Sisodia requesting him to approve and forward these cases to the LG, but the files are still pending.

The construction of government residential flats and decongestion of 77 corridors, apart from several other projects of national significance, were also held up by the AAP government due to non-granting of permission for translocation of trees. “Compelled by this inexplicable and inordinate delay and non-adherence to his two letters to the CM in this regard, the LG, in December last year, recalled 11 files from the Delhi Government that were pending with the Minister of Environment and Forest, Gopal Rai.”

“However, once the LG Secretariat invoked Rule 19(5) of the ToBR to recall these files, the minister and the Chief Minister duly approved and signed the files within days and sent to the LG for approval. Upon receiving these files, the LG immediately approved the same, and works/construction activities have since started on these projects,” the LG office said.