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Posted at: Jan 11, 2017, 1:22 AM; last updated: Jan 11, 2017, 8:45 AM (IST)

Curious land notification day before model code

112 acres to be acquired for road that will improve connectivity from airport to Sukhvilas luxury resort
Curious land notification day before model code
Passing through eight villages, the proposed road will end at Rani Majra village, located along newly built 100-ft-wide Boothgarh-New Chandigarh road. This is connected to Kurali-Chandigarh road.

Vishav Bharti

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 10

A land acquisition notification issued by the Punjab government just a day before imposition of the model code of conduct has raised eyebrows.

On January 3, a notification was issued to acquire more than 100 acres of land to build a 200 feet wide road to “provide better connectivity of New Chandigarh”. The new road incidentally will also give better connectivity to Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal’s luxury resort Sukhvilas from the international airport.

According to sources, the Department of Housing and Urban Development issued a notification for acquisition of 112.61 acres of eight villages “at the public expense for public purpose”.

A 200 feet wide road will be built on this land, which will commence from Desu Majra village that is located close to the airport road on the Chandigarh-Kharar highway. The road will pass along eight villages and end up at Rani Majra village, located at the newly built 100 feet wide Boothgarh-New Chandigarh road. This is further connected to the Kurali-Chandigarh road.

The Kurali-Chandigarh road leads to Sukhvilas at Palanpur village, around 5 km from Rani Majra.

At present, the luxury resort is connected through either the PGI-Mullanpur road or through the Kurali-Chandigarh road. If someone has to travel from the airport to the resort, he or she either has to cross Chandigarh or first go up to Kurali and then take the Chandigarh-Kurali road.

Sources in GMADA revealed that there are already three roads connecting New Chandigarh to Chandigarh or Punjab and this road was especially designed to provide better connectivity to Sukhvilas from the airport. They say that all the formalities to acquire land were completed at an “unimaginable pace”.

The Social Assessment Report of the Master Plan states the road will improve connectivity of the affected villages to Mohali-Kharar road, Eco-City, Edu-City, Baddi and Mullanpur. “It will also improve the connectivity with the airport as earlier the people had to cover a longer distance. It will save time,” state the official documents.

According to the impact assessment report of the project, a total of 197 families will be displaced to build this road.

What raises eyebrows is the timing of the notification, as also the fact that this road project was the only one to be picked among the other several projects of New Chandigarh the Social Impact Assessment (SIA) of which had already been done.

Earlier, acting on the complaint of alleged environmental violations by the Badal-Oberoi venture, ‘The Oberoi Sukhvilas Resorts & Spa’, the Regional Office of Union Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change had sought a report from the state government.

Nothing to do with Deputy CM’s venture: Govt

Housing and urban development secretary Visvajeet Khanna, when contacted, said the entire process of land acquisition started three months back with preparation of the Social Impact Assessment 

Report for the project.

  • When asked about the timing of the notification, he said he issued a notification on January 3 and “how can I know that the code will come into effect on January 4?”
  • Khanna said the coming up of the road had nothing to do with the Sukhvilas luxury resort, which is 6 km from where the road will end. “The road will be a huge advantage for New Chandigarh’s townships and even GMADA has its own three townships in the same area,” Khanna added.
Acquisition in eight villages

The eight villages where land is to be acquired are Jandpur, Desu Majra, Rani Majra, Palheri, Bahalpur, Daun, Husainpur,Sinhpur. The maximum land (31 acres) will be acquired in Palheri, followed by 25 acres in Rani Majra, 23 acres in Jandpur and 17 acres in Daun.

AAP seeks EC notice

"New Chandigarh’s master plan has been designed to serve business interests of the Badal family. Earlier also roads were built with public money to provide better connectivity to Sukhvilas from Chandigarh. Instead of doing other public works, they smartly prioritised their personal work just before the code of conduct. The Election Commission should take note of this." — Dinesh Chadha, co-convenor, AAP’s RTI wing


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