The level of the roads seems to be rising over the years – Should the residents suffer?
The adjunct case was discussing in the case in which the appellant filed an application under the Right to Information (RTI) Act with the East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC) seeking copy of the approved sanction plan of property. The Public Information Officer (PIO) stated that the said document is not traceable but they have been able trace out the sanction plan of another property, which was approved around the same time as the appellant's property in 1970. The PIO presented the file and showed to the original sanction plan in respect of this property, and also provided to the appellant. Further the Assistant Engineer (B) stated that he had submitted note to his superior officers, highlighting the problems arising on account of raising of road level. In his note, the officer highlighted the plight of those house owners who construct their houses while adhering to the minimum prescribed mandatory plinth height but are made to suffer when the surrounding road is raised by the concerned public authorities. As a consequence, the plinth height as measured from the road level is reduced due to no fault of the house owners leading to demolition orders as this deficiency is neither permissible nor compoundable.
View of CIC
The Central Information Commission (CIC) noted that the sincere efforts have been made for locating the information but it cannot be denied that due to poor record management, the file holding the sanctioned building plan of the appellant’s property is not traceable even though it is part of permanent record. After viewing the condition of the files pertaining to 1970 which have been brought before the it, the CIC noted that the records are in a state of complete disintegration. The CIC strongly recommend in terms of section 19(8)(a)(iv) of the RTI Act that special funds for digitizing the old permanent record of the three MCDs be made available for conducting special drive for computerization. In view of the larger public interest in the issue that has come to light during the hearing pertaining to the unauthorized raising of roads while carpeting/ repairing to the detriment of the house owners (as this causes flooding of houses), the CIC asked for a copy of the final outcome of the proposal mooted by the AE/ Building Plan – II and current status of the proposal. The Commission directed the PIO that a copy of this order should be marked to the Commissioners of the three MCDs so that the issues that have come to the fore in the present hearing also pass through their eyes. Further, a copy of the orders issued by the three MCD Commissioners in regard to the computerization and digitization of the old permanent record will also be provided to the Commission.
All over the country, the house owners who construct their houses while adhering to the minimum prescribed mandatory plinth height are facing this problem of rising road levels. They suffer when the surrounding road is raised by the concerned municipal corporation. This calls for a review of the whole process of repair and maintenance of roads.
Citation: Mrs. Leela Mathur v. East Delhi Municipal Corporation in Adjunct II Appeal: No. CIC/DS/A/2012/002356
RTI Citation : RTIFI/2013/CIC/1322
Click here to view original RTI order of Court / Information Commission