MCD asks Trai to vacate Safdarjung office in 3 months

New Delhi, March 29 | Updated: Mar 30 2006, 06:36am hrs
The Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) raided the office of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) on Wednesday following an order from the Supreme Court which had declared the premises illegal.

Rather than constructing a building for Trai, the government had paid over Rs 10 crore as rent in four years.

The MCD has asked Trai to vacate the premises within three months. The premises, however , was not sealed as Trai had already obtained an affidavit stating that the authority would vacate the building shortly. MCD officials, however sealed other adjacent office complexes and shops on Wednesday.

According to unconfirmed reports, Trai may move office from its current Safdarjung Enclave address to the MTNL building near Ram Lila Ground. Trai has a staff of around 200 people including advisors, chairman and other officials. Trai currently operates from two premises. The second premises is located in Trikoot building in Bhikaji Cama Place near Trai House.

While shifting office, the authority will have to move both the offices to ascertain smooth functioning on daily basis. The Trai House is located in the posh SafdarJang Enclave (Residential area) in a private building. The rent alone, according to sources is about Rs 22 lakh per month. Trai moved into its current premises in 2001, fully knowing that the building is located in a residential area.

Rather than moving into a government building or constructing one for itself, the authority spent over Rs 10.5 crore as rent. Trai officials have still no clue as to where their new office will be situated.

According to local residents, the office complexes were clogging the area creating problems.

It may be recalled that the Supreme Court had given a deadline of June 30 for sealing of shops and office complexes in residential areas in Delhi. But there is no concrete decision on government offices. The MCD issued a notice saying that areas where shops had been established before the inception of the first Master Plan in 1962 will not be sealed if owners file an affidavit by March 28. Trai also obtained an affidavit before March 28. The confusion may have an effect on various Trai orders and papers.