Three days before the 69th Independence Day, the eviction squad of the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) threw a senior military officer on deputation to the Central government out of his official residence.
Air Commodore Ranjan Mukherjee, VSM, who is currently Additional Director General with Prasar Bharati, was Officer on Special Duty to the Lieutenant Governor of Delhi in his previous assignment. He was given an official accommodation at Bhagwan Das Marg. When he shifted to Prasar Bharati two years ago, the DDA asked him to vacate the house he was allotted to in his capacity as OSD to the LG.
The decorated Indian Air Force officer urged the Directorate of Establishment (DoE) under the Ministry of Urban Development for an accommodation. In such cases, the DDA and the DoE normally indulge in inter-pooling—that is, the DoE would give an accommodation to an officer whom the DDA is supposed to provide a house.
Mukherjee asked for the same house to be allotted to him in his new capacity or given an alternative residence. The DDA, sources said, refused to follow either course. It took to the legal recourse. Meanwhile the officer also obtained a stay last year. The issue dragged on.
On Friday, the DDA was able to get an eviction order from the court, as a consequence of which it immediately sent a large number of people to take the residence under its charge. The officer was not at home at that time. According to sources, the eviction staff misbehaved with his wife, who is undergoing a medical treatment, and daughter. The entire household was rummaged, many of items damaged. The worship place, too, has reportedly not been spared.
The alacrity and severity that the DDA has shown against a senior serving officer is astonishing, especially when its laxity and venality have led to encroachments and other malpractices.