HC ruling on building bylaws timely

Apropos of the news-item Poll announcement scuttles move on building bylaws (March 1), the Punjab and Haryana High Court has rightly directed the Punjab government not to regularise any encroachments and illegal constructions. The timely ruling has strengthened the people’s confidence in the judiciary. The ends of justice will be met if the court does not allow any review petition by the government in this regard.

As regards the huge number of building bylaw violators mentioned in the report, this is in variance with the government’s stand issued through press releases from time to time. Bylaw violations are of two types. In the first category, the basic framework of the construction is in accordance with the bylaws and only minor variations are there in the structure, which according to the Supreme Court, can be compounded. In the other type, violations are against the framework of the bylaws and hence non-compoundable. In this case, human rights are also violated. Certain basic principles of planning like adequate sun, open space, air and greenery in the residential buildings or areas should all be followed.



The cases of encroachment reported by the civic bodies to the local government should include violations in both categories as mentioned above. All the illegal constructions will have to be pulled down immediately. A correct figure of the number of encroachments can be arrived at through if a survey is undertaken on the number of new constructions or re-erections, additions and alterations of the buildings made and the types of violations committed from the date of enforcement of the bylaws.

Dr Gurkirpal Singh,


Incorrect report

The report Coal slurry dumping may contaminate water (March 11) is incorrect. We do not produce any coal slurry. The flyash, so generated in our steam generation plant, is mixed with water before being shifted to the flyash pond. These ponds are surrounded by technically sound dykes capable of storing the flyash which is shifted to low-lying areas as filler after the same gets dried up.

Further, dumping of flyash in low-lying areas as filler with final layer of earth is a universal practice and it does not affect the quality of the ground water in any way. The use of flyash for laying of roads and for better yield of crops is also encouraged by various agencies. Even the surrounding village panchayats have been approaching us for making available dry flyash for utilisation as filler in their low-lying areas.

The ground water quality in and around Nangal is periodically monitored and it meets the drinking water standards. We are concerned about our responsibilities towards a cleaner environment. To meet the statutory requirements, we have invested over Rs 25 crore on pollution abatement systems.

Dy General Manager (HR),
National Fertilisers Ltd.,
Nangal (Punjab)

Our Correspondent replies: The National Fertilisers Limited authorities have been dumping the fly ash in 20 to 30 feet deep pits spread in an area of acres within the municipal limits of Nangal adjoining their residential colony. This can be verified by anyone visiting the area.

People residing in the surrounding areas constantly complain of flyash flowing into their houses with air.

The underground dumping is in violation of the norms prescribed by the Punjab Pollution Control Board for dumping flyash. The PPCB only allows the dumping of flyash in dykes constructed on the ground and protected by pulverised layer to stop seepage. It has now deputed a team to study the effects of the underground dumping of flyash by the NFL. 

EC’s decisions commendable

The Election Commission has taken the right step in disqualifying 3,300 persons from contesting elections for their failure to submit their statements of accounts within 45 days of the completion of elections between 2001 and 2004.

The Commission should also be firm on its decision to bar those representatives who have not cleared any of the government dues or have not vacated government accommodation after the dissolution of the Lok Sabha.

The rule may also be applicable in the case of former Prime Ministers who have still not cleared dues for making use of IAF aircraft for non-official purposes. The Commission’s decision on submitting data on the contestants’ statements of assets and liabilities, expenses and so on to the Income-Tax authorities is also welcome.


Maya’s democracy

Though Ms Mayawati claims herself to be the spokesperson of Dalits, she isn’t if one considers her nature, temperament and behaviour. She is a political manipulator and with the passage of time, people would be able to understand her real persona. Mr Kanshi Ram worked very hard to build the Bahujan Samaj Party, but the way she has been working all along, I doubt whether she would be able to serve the cause of Dalits. Clearly, she has to amend her style of functioning if she is sincerely interested in helping the Dalits.


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