M A I N   N E W S

Punjab to regularise illegal constructions
Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 4
Probably eyeing a large number of voters ahead of the assembly elections in Punjab, the state government is now working to regularise thousands of unauthorised constructions around Chandigarh.

Among the beneficiaries will be housing colonies where politicians, bureaucrats and senior police officers, among others, have built huge bungalows. These plush houses are located in the north of Chandigarh around Kansal village and are virtually at a stone’s throw from the Punjab Civil Secretariat here.

Sources in the government said special committees formed by the Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (PUDA) had started functioning and would be screening and verifying applications the Authority had invited last year from those who wanted to get their constructions regularised.

The committees started work on May 19 and each of these would carry out physical verification before recommending the regularisation of the constructions.

There are more than 20,000 such constructions around Chandigarh. First of all,the Punjab Government will take up cases of regularisation in Kansal (including colonies around this village), Sohana, Daon, Landran, Behlolpur and Balongi. All these constructions are in violation of the Punjab New Capital (Periphery) Control Act, 1952, and regularising them will ensure that there are no demolitions.

Some areas of Kansal command a high value due to the palatial houses of the rich, but other areas to be regularised are also equally important in terms of location and value of land. Mostly middle class families who cannot afford to build houses in either the newly formed district of Mohali or Chandigarh, have opted to build houses in the periphery of Chandigarh in violation of the rules. While Doan and Balongi are located on the Chandigarh-Ludhiana road, they are just outside the boundary of Mohali and not more than 5 to 8 km from Chandigarh.

Sohana is just behind Sector 69 and not more 3 km from the cricket stadium at Phase IX, Mohali. Landran is a few km ahead of Sohana on the Chandigarh-Fatehgarh Sahib road. Lastly, Behlolpur is behind Phase VI of Mohali almost abutting the Mohali-Chandigarh boundary.

The sources said on-the-spot verification of the illegal constructions was being done by the committees. PUDA had also asked people to be present at the spot of constructions for verification and sought the help of sarpanches and Numbardars in this regard.

Besides the periphery of Chandigarh, about 2,600 houses have been built outside the lal dora of the villages and also the Municipal Limits of Chandigarh which are separate from this drive. In Chandigarh, the matter, if it is ever taken up, will be dealt with by the Chandigarh Administration.



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