Thursday, June 14, 2018

A Bhasmasur Named Illegal Construction!





“We don't seem to be able to check crime, so why not legalize it and then tax it out of business?”... Will Rogers.

William Penn Adair "Will" Rogers was a stage and motion picture actor, vaudeville performer, American cowboy, humorist, newspaper columnist, and social commentator from Oklahoma.  William though at best of sarcastic way has hit the nail on the head of not just present but every past (and may be future) govt’s in our country & for those who are die hard govt fan (there are always of ever  govt) for them as they must have missed a news which does made head line but forgotten soon! In April 18, at Kasauli, in State of Himachal Pradesh, a place which is famous for its scenic mountain ranges & known as tourist’s paradise, one hideous crime happened in day light. A lady assistant town planning officer named Ms Shail Bala has been shot dead by a hotel owner. And her only fault was she was there to demolish the illegal construction done by the said hotel owner & that too by the order of Supreme Court & yes she didn’t accepted the bribe by this hotel owner to turn a blind eye towards the Supreme Court orders  as well towards the said illegal construction! That’s it, seems the assistant town planner was real fool as why she has to bother about what a black coat wearing judge sitting some hundred miles away in Delhi was going to do even if she wouldn’t have taken any action on this hotel? Rather she should have happily accepted bribe which would have been not only saved her life but her summer vacations could have been wonderful in some Dubai or Singapore type destination! Instead the fool entered in to argument & tried to show honesty & got a bullet in return & now what? Govt wasn’t ready even to arrest the killer hotelier & claimed he fled away but again some judge in Supreme Court got the news of this incidence & on his persistence (read Supreme Court’s) somehow police caught the shooter in a city from nearby State & now the case will start. Hope there will be some witnesses who will stood by what they saw & the truth & someday the killer will get due punishment for his crime!

Now many people will say, what’s the link between the heading of this write-up as well the quote I started with & the incidence above! Like in some movie super star Shaharukh Khan has said , “Bade bade shaharome aise chote chote hadse hote rahte hai” i.e. in big cities such small mishaps keeps happening & here even the city is small so why make so much fuss about it? Well, the town kasauli may be small & there might be just one life lost (sorry Shail Bala, you have taken birth in a country where value of one life really nobody cares, that’s why I said just one life) but the message it has sent around which will reach to ever small & big town along with the Metro cities in the country is so loud & clear that only the blind’s won’t be able to see it & the deaf’s won’t hear it; unfortunately from “Galli to Delhi” every govt is full of both i.e. blind & deaf! And the message is for every that person in the system called govt who thinks they works for so called law (yes Shail Bala proved that there are such fools around yet) & for those persons too, who loves to be other side(read wrong side) of the law! And the message for the first category i.e. so called law protectors means officers & law abiding citizens is, please never put your neck in the matters of illegal constructions, stay out of it or the very same neck can get hurt even cut! And any way it’s just matter of few months as in every State of this country there are more illegal constructions than legal ones is a fact & every govt (whatever political party they may be of) eventually regularize all the so called illegal constructions ignoring Hon Court’s views about the same. So why risk your life for demolishing something which is going to be legal by the govt itself of which you are a servant, is the indirect message sent to all so called law abiding govt servants by this shooting!

And the message for the latter category i.e. for all the persons which are on wrong side of the law (well now days it’s really difficult to define which is right side of the law) is, don’t worry, keep doing what you are doing i.e. not following any law while you build your hotels, dhabas, buildings, factories or whatever you want to build. Just go & make money by what you build, no need to take any tension of any guidelines by any govt department, may it be Urban Development, Pollution Control Board, Revenue, City Survey, Electricity (I still love the term MSEB), Police & even so called Supreme Court! Just don’t bother about any environment or nature conservation types things, as do mind it’s not green color of the nature but the green currency in your pocket is going to make you happy, so just don’t bother about anything & yes shoot the person who is objecting to your noble (not illegal) cause behind whatever you have constructing as that’s what they deserve; as how can they be so cruel towards a person like you with has so noble intentions of just feeding your family & creating employment! So why does it matters if in doing so you end up breaking some stupid norms of construction set by some planning authorities & courts & violate the same! And then going by the precedence about our  “mai baap’’ govt’s soft corner towards the so called illegal construction you have done, just relax, right from some local elected corporator to Hon CM to even opposition party leaders, all are with you & keen to relieve you from the tension that you have build something illegal! So these all will be making every effort to regularize your construction till that time you can use all the tricks you got to keep some foolish, honest officer like Shail Bala away from your construction. Have you not seen the hit movie, “Lage Raho Munnabhai”, where the builder Boman Irani puts a wallet full of currency & a gun on table in-front of a Municipal officer who was not sanctioning his plans of anew project & asks him, “ye wallet & ye bullet, boal kya leke sign karega?” Means either choose bullet from the gun or take money a (as bribe), in either way you have to sanction the plans! Needless to say in the movie the officer was shown wise so he chooses wallet & clears the plan, seems Shail Bala hasn’t seen the movie or she too could have chosen wisely in Kasauli & saved me from writing this piece!

Well, well, I am extremely sorry for all above words but please do mind I have written it just like Will Rogers i.e. sarcastically as the entire situation sucks, especially when you look around not as a developer or engineer but even as a common man! As I came across one more news & it’s about PCMC (Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation) standing committee i.e. a body of elected members which decides development fate of the city, has take a decision that in eight suburbs of PCMC no new constructions will be allowed because PCMC is unable to supply water for booming constructions in these areas! Simply great move as logically yes, any sane person will say if you are not able to give infrastructure as basic like water then why allow constructions here in first place! But what we are neglecting is this is not judiciously taken decision but just passing the buck of responsibility of providing infrastructure. Because this  development is not something PCMC or for that instance any planning authority hasn’t dreamed about, this is their job & they knew about the upcoming developments right when they sanctioned DP i.e. development plan of the city! So if you have painted something yellow on a DP (read marked as residential zone) then whose job it is to provide infrastructure like water, drainage, roads to this yellow patch? And what about the developers who has bought lands in these areas only after confirming that they are in residential zones! And more than that its only in these areas where infrastructure is yet fully developed lands are bit cheaper & most home buyers can get a home in their budget & if you are not allowing any new constructions in a hasty decision taken over night then what alternative than going to build illegal structures is left with the people? And this is not something unique as history of our urban planning is full of such jokes where first you strangle someone to death & when the guy retaliate as defense to survive you call it attack on system & name him outlaw which is illegal construction in the law of court!

By no way I am justifying illegal constructions & in no case attack on a govt officer performing his duty can be considered as right yet why people tend to go extreme has other side of coin too! There is a famous dialogue in Hindi cinema, “insan gunahgar nahi hota, halat use majbur kar dete hai!” Means nobody is criminal by birth but it’s the situation which forces him to become one & indeed there are exceptions to every law, illegal constructions also have such personalities & many of them. There are some people which are born criminals & who go on building illegal constructions just making it their core business but then the very same system named govt allows such criminals to survive & grow is equally true! And looking at such people’s prosperity as well with  a sanctioning system which is ever changing as well nearly impossible to follow many other people follows track of illegality is a fact which we can’t turn a blind eye on! And why the person who shot Shail Bala, have we not witnessed attacks on the encroachment squads by the mob that has been on duty of demolishing in the cities in our very State? And in many such cases the elected members have been found provoking the mob to attack on the officers on duty, so what action has been taken on such elected members, is the question I will ask! Agreed many will ask no illegal constructions or encroachment happens over night so what the concerned officers were doing at such time yet one wrong deed getting permitted doesn’t ever makes it right is a fact! Only thing is the Shail Bala case must have been opened eyes of many such officers who allowed the killer illegal construction named demon (just like  Bhasmasur form our mythology) to grow so big in their respective jurisdictions. As now this illegal constructions demon has become so big & courageous that it doesn’t mind using bullet if wallet therapy fails, on the protector of the law itself! The solution to kill the demon named illegal constructions is not just to find & punish the murderer of Shail Bala, which eventually will happen. But solution lies in making a system which clearly defines what is legal & what is illegal & decides it fast as well gives permissions in fastest possible time if you are doing legal construction. And once something is declared as illegal then also within no time & without any mercy demolishes the so called illegality.

High time for every person around to check our attitude towards right & wrong, as finely what is govt but a reflection of our own faces collectively! It’s always easier to blame govt for any wrong thing happening around but we conveniently forget that we are that govt in first place! Today one assistant town planning officer has given her life to stop illegal construction in some remote place named Kasauli in State of Himachal Pradesh but tomorrow it can be anybody from your own family in your very own so called safe city & that tomorrow is not very far away is all I will like to put forward!

-- 
Sanjay Deshpande 
Sanjeevani Dev.

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