Road warrior shows the way
NEW DELHI: After initial hiccups and dejections, Ajay Goel's five-year-long struggle against the civic agency to know the funds used for the repair of a road in his colony Pandav Nagar is finally showing results.
On Wednesday, the high court slapped a fine of Rs 20,000 on MCD and asked the civic body to initiate an inquiry against officials responsible for the maintenance of the road. Besides this, the court has also asked MCD to maintain public roads in the city more efficiently.
Chartered accountant Ajay Goel and the other six petitioners in this case filed an RTI in 2002 seeking information about when the road was constructed and the last time it was repaired. Said Goel: "While the information about when the road being constructed in 1994-1995 was correct, the claim made by MCD about the road being repaired from time to time was wrong.
Not satisfied with the reply through RTI, they wrote to various agencies. Finally the Public Grievance Commission asked that the road be reconstructed. But the petitioners also wanted an inquiry into the the money spent by the civic agency and filed a writ petition in the high court in 2002.
Said Goel: "The petition was dismissed for non-appearance of petitioners. We then filed a review petition and were told by the judge that construction of road was not the matter of the court and we should approach the area councillor for this. We then went to the Supreme Court in 2005 who reverted the case to the high court on merit basis.
In 2006, the high court asked that the road be reconstructed within four months. Added Goel: "We were more interested in the embezzlement of money than the repair carried out. The MCD, however, repaired certain portions of the stretch and didn't bother doing the entire stretch. When this was highlighted in the court they asked for proper repair of the entire stretch in the next two months.
Accordingly, while the MCD carried out repair they only constructed 20 feet of the 40 feet road. Finally on Wednesday some headway was made in this case.
Goel said: "I want to carry on with my fight till the end to show people in my colony that if you take the right path instead of approaching politicians with your problems, you will be awarded with justice. In these five years some of Goel's neighbours have also come to oppose his fight against the system.
Said Goel: "There are many other roads in the colony in bad condition. Problems for him have not ended here. Added Goel: "The MCD served a petition on me on Thursday saying that the information provided in our petition is factually wrong and they had constructed the entire road. The next hearing is on August 8.Said a senior MCD official: "Till we do not get a certified copy of the court order we cannot comment on this issue.
Road warrior shows the way-Delhi-Cities-The Times of India