Mussorie Development Authority: a classic case of Uttarakhand govt working

Dehradun : The people of Uttarakhand literally came to the streets for the creation of the new state. While the youth braved lathis and bullets of the police and notorious PAC of Uttar Pradesh, the women were literally molested and raped. They bore all this indignity and ignominy dreaming of a new era of peace, prosperity and good times.

Tragically Uttarakhand has become a sad story of dreams shattered, visions broken and a complete take over by various mafia and the corrupt.

The state governments that have come ever since this small mountain state came into being on Nov 9 2000 rather than working for the aspirations of the people, have paid a Nelson’s eye and actually sided with the corrupt.

Take the example of the Mussorie Dehra Development Authority (MDDA), which was a hotbed of corruption even before the state was carved out of Uttar Pradesh.

It was felt that after statehood it will fulfill the ambitions of the ‘aam aadmi’ by planning and setting up housing projects in the state, but in 12 years it has not come up with a single housing project for the people.

Only corruption has become more rampant. What to talk of an organization where a vice chairman during the previous BJP regime justified his demand of a bribe from a Mall builder claiming that he had to pay Rs 50 lakhs per month to the then chief minister and could not do so from his own pocket.

When the builder refused to cough up the “huge demand”, the building was sealed.

In yet another case, an illegal construction was allowed to come up despite a complaint by a neighbour of the building giving in writing to the vice chairman, along with photographs.

The illegal construction was allowed to come up and the complaint was conveniently shelved under the carpet. Such is the writ of the department personnel, who run an empire, where their writ runs large.

And to justify their presence and that they have big plans for the masses, the authorities that be in the MDDA have time and again announced ambitious projects for cheap and even medium housing projects for the people.

They have even got land in some cases, but the projects have never taken shape and work on none of the projects has started.

Officials of the Authority, however, claim that they have an acute shortage of land bank because of which they have not been able to give shape to their projects.

“We are now studying the land acquisition policy of HUDA so that the Authority can also acquire land easily and housing projects for the masses can be undertaken”, they claimed.

As of now the authority has become a map passing office for those proposing to make new constructions.

But rather than taking note of the large number of illegal housing projects in the private sector that are mushrooming up and even buildings coming up in violation of the bye-laws and rules, to prevent the haphazard growth of this one beautiful valley, money maketh the mayor run.

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A journalist with over 40 years of experience, Jagdish Bhatt was Editor, Hill Post (Uttarakhand). Jagdish had worked with India's leading English dailies, which include Times of India, Indian Express, Pioneer and several other reputed publications. A highly acclaimed journalist, he was a recipient of many awards Jagdish Bhatt, aged 72, breathed his last on 28th August 2021 at his Dehradun residence.

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