Open House: What steps should Chandigarh take to ensure slum dwellers don't encroach on govt land? : The Tribune India

Open House: What steps should Chandigarh take to ensure slum dwellers don't encroach on govt land?

Rehab scheme, checks & stern action against violators needed

Open House: What steps should Chandigarh take to ensure slum dwellers don't encroach on govt land?

Residents demolish their illegal structures at a colony at Sector 25 in Chandigarh. file



Serious lapse on part of authorities

Allowing government land to be encroached upon is a serious lapse. Such encroachments should be removed at the initial stage itself rather than allowing these to expand. Regular surveillance of the city area by the authorities is required to stop encroachment.

Sapna Sharda, Chandigarh


Greed, selfishness behind illegal act

Encroachments are infringing rights of other citizens. The government land is encroached due to lack of periodical monitoring and timely action. Greed, selfishness, and jealousy can be cited as reasons behind alarming rise in encroachments. People should realise that government land are for creating common infrastructure for the benefit of the public.

Vineet Gandhi, Chandigarh


Step up vigilance to identify violators

No public land can be encroached without connivance of corrupt elements in the UT Administration. It is always expected that the officials concerned get their act together the moment any encroachment on government land comes to their notice. The Administration should step up vigilance to identify violators and take exemplary action against them. Such deterrent action may dissuade others from illegal occupation of the government land.

Vinayak, Panchkula


Form teams to conduct survey

The UT Administration should form teams headed by the SDM to conduct survey in their respective areas once in a month and ensure that there is no encroachment on government land. The team should submit a written report to this effect to the authorities concerned. Due to non-accountability and laxity, officials rarely check encroachments on time. Later, it becomes a big issue to get the land vacated as politicians also jump into the fray to save their vote bank.

KC Rana, Chandigarh


Surveillance by high resolution drones

It’s high time to control encroachments by slum dwellers on the government land. The UT Administration should use latest techniques to monitor encroachments and increase surveillance by high resolution drones on a regular basis in the city. Any encroachment can be stopped if immediate action is taken against violators. Fencing of the vulnerable government land may also be considered with warning signs for strict action against violators.

Col TBS Bedi (retd), Mohali


Cruel to uproot homeless people

One fine morning the UT Administration suddenly realises that slum dwellers have encroached upon vast tracts of the government land and erected their shanties thereon. Notices are served to vacate the land. Then shanties are bulldozed on expiry of the notice period. It is needless to say that slum dwellers, mostly migrants, did not settle here overnight. They have voter cards, Aadhaar cards and power connections with their residential addresses. Suddenly uprooting them has not gone down well with human rights activists and the High Court. If this is to make Chandigarh a slum-free city, it could be cruel and thoughtless step taken by the Administration without providing an alternate shelter to the homeless.

SC Luthra, Chandigarh


File case against encroachers

There is no doubt that the ill practice of encroachment goes on with impunity, which proves that even officials in the UT Administration are hand in glove with encroachers. The first and the foremost duty of the Administration is to keep an eye on any type of encroachment in the city. If any encroachment is noticed, then immediately a legal notice should be served on the violator. If still the encroacher is adamant, then court case should be filed against him/her for eviction from the government land. The only way to keep a check on encroachments is strict and immediate action against violators.

Bir Devinder Singh Bedi, Sangrur


Plant saplings on vacant govt land

Why do slum dwellers encroach government land? Slums are created and nurtured by politicians for maintaining bulk vote bank. Besides, careless attitude of officials concerned to stop people from encroaching government land has aggravated the problem. The best would be to guard all vacant land by erecting a wall or barbed wire fence around it. Officials should be held responsible for encroachments in the city. Besides, saplings can be planted on vacant land. This will rejuvenate environment.

Capt Amar Jeet (retd), Kharar


Officials must be held responsible

Illegal encroachment of government land in the UT has been a regular affair with protection from various political parties. It takes years for the Administration to remove unauthorised colonies from the government land. There is a need to earmark and fence vacant government land to prevent encroachments. The police and officials in the Administration must be held accountable for encroachments in the UT. The authorities should register cases against encroachers and penalise them. Boards with warnings displayed can be erected on vacant government land to inform violators about consequences of encroachments. Political parties and their leaders helping encroachers must be taken to task to curb unauthorised occupation of the government land in the City Beautiful.

Wg Cdr Jasbir Minhas (retd), Mohali


Display warning on notice boards

People encroach land of the government, religious places and panchayats. The UT Administration should demarcate government land and display notice warning public not to encroach such properties, which could invite legal action and prosecution of violators.

NPS Sohal, Chandigarh


First rehabilitate slum dwellers

There is an immediate need to create affordable housing projects on the city outskirts. Slum dwellers when allocated an affordable house usually give it on rent or sell it. The Administration should ensure that when slum evacuees are allocated houses they live in it. Also the Administration should allot houses to slum dwellers before ousting them from illegal colonies. They also need shelter and are a part of the City Beautiful.

Sunny Dhaliwal, Chandigarh


Targeting helpless people not justified

For a long time the authorities concerned have ignored encroachments and provided facilities like mobile toilets and water tankers to dwellers in illegal colonies since they are their vote banks. Now, the authorities are bulldozing temporary hutments though after prior intimation. Who is going to act against lawmakers as they themselves have encouraged illegal occupation of the government land? The law should be equal for all. Targeting helpless poor class is not justified. The authorities need to be fair in their approach towards slum dwellers.

Yash Khetarpal, Panchkula


Non-performance of officials

Encroachment on government land is due to non-performance of UT’s officials concerned. It is not easy to reclaim encroached land because of years old built up structures on it. Besides, residents in illegal colonies get water and power supply connections. The authorities should erect barbed wire fence around government land. Officials concerned should be held accountable encroachments in the UT.

MR Bhateja, Nayagaon


Spoils look of City Beautiful

Encroachments on government land not only spoils the look and planning of the City Beautiful, but also waste resources. To stop this menace the police and the department concerned should be vigilant. Encroachers must be removed from government land even if force is required. Officials should not be swayed by bribes, threats or fake sympathy while removing encroachments.

Bubby Soin, Chandigarh


Launch slum dweller rehabilitation scheme

The UT Administration should launch a scheme for rehabilitating slum dwellers occupying government land. Under the scheme, the Administration must develop colonies, which have basic amenities like electricity, water and toilets. Slum dwellers must get ownership rights of dwelling in such colonies.

Anita Tandon, kharar


UT should learn a lesson from Punjab

The UT Administration should learn a lesson from Punjab where many politicians and bureaucrats have encroached government land. All open spaces near public buildings should be encroachment free. The Administration should start a drive to reclaim government land. Strict action against must be taken against officials for not keeping a check on encroachments in City Beautiful.

Sumesh Kumar Badhwar, Mohali


Elite want to live in slum-free city

The elite want to live in a slum-free and world-class city. So, all those, who called Colony No. 4 their home, suddenly found themselves displaced. With bulldozers surrounding the colony, many dwellers ran from pillar to post with documents, from the DC office to the Chandigarh Housing Board, trying to prove their eligibility for alternative allotment, but to no avail. Their voter IDs, Aadhaar cards, gas connections and electricity bills all listed their address as Colony Number 4. Only a few months ago, there was a full pace election campaigning in the colony, which was declared illegal. Address of dwellers, which was accepted while casting votes, all of a sudden was considered illegal. In Chandigarh, we sit on the ruins of our predecessors. Why is it that city plans never accommodates thousands of labourers? Do filthy slums with unregulated construction and insufficient basic services show failure of the Administration in urban planning and governance? These slum dwellers are gardeners, masons and mechanics that we rely upon, but can they rely on us?

Sanjay Chopra, Mohali


Negligence of authorities

Encroachments are not possible without the negligence of the authorities concerned and politicians help. Police patrolling can easily check encroachments. The Food and Supply Department can also help in preventing illegal occupation of government land as officials here have all the information of ration cards and voter cards. Even media and passers-by can inform the authorities concerned about encroachments.

Sukhwant Bhullar, Chandigarh


Various factors aggravated issue

The growth of population, increasing numbers of migrants and nexus between political leaders and officials coupled with various other factors has aggravated the problem of government land. A common perception among people is that without political patronage encroachment on government land is not possible. Jhuggis did not come up on the government land in a day or month. Surprisingly, residents of a colony, which was here in the UT since last 40 years, got eviction notices. If the colony was illegal, why it was not removed earlier. In order to make the city slum-free, the Administration should form a policy.

Vidya Sagar Garg, Panchkula


Deploy watchmen on vacant plots

To some extent officials are also responsible for encroachment as they don’t visit vacant land regularly. First thing people do to encroach land is defecate in the open. When people notice that the government is not turning a blind eye, they start building makeshift homes and tell their fellow beings also to encroach the government land. To avoid this the Administration should ask town planning officials to visit vacant plots, make sure these are fenced and watchmen are deployed.

Savita Kuthiala, Chandigarh


Boundary wall, fencing can help

Encroachments are due to the laxity of the Administration. The authorities should put up boards on government land warning people of consequences of encroachment. A boundary wall on government land can keep encroachers at bay. From time to time officials must visit government lands to check encroachments. A committee should be formed to look into problem. CCTVs can also help prevent encroachments.

Abhilasha Gupta, Mohali


Temporary shelter for migrants

Slums are everywhere in the world. The authorities can provide temporary shelter to migrants on their arrival in the UT. Brick kiln labourers are provided accommodation by owners. So, they don’t encroach government land. Strict vigil is required to ward off violators from occupation of the government land.

Bharat Bhushan Sharma, Chandigarh


Reflects weakness of authorities

Encroachments reflect authorities’ weakness and political interference in official work. For poor and needy the government should construct affordable houses. People, who reside in shanties, should be checked and registered periodically to maintain reliable data. At present, most slum dwellers have many shanties in different parts of the city.

Ashok Kumar Goel, Panchkula


Officials must work honestly

Officials have to work honestly to discourage encroachment of government land. Increasing migrants’ population in the UT has led to encroachment of government lands. The Administration should educate migrants to have small families.

Charu Malhotra, Mohali


Poor should not be targeted

In the first instance, the government land is encroached in connivance with the authorities concerned. This needs to be checked. Secondly, always poor should not be targeted. There are large number of encroachments in posh sectors of the UT, which are ignored by the Administration. Encroachment is an illegal act. So, background/status of encroacher must not be taken into consideration while taking legal action against him/her.

SK Khosla, Chandigarh


A Herculean task

Making UT slum free is a Herculean task. Demolition of houses is an expensive exercise. The problem is that the poor don’t have houses. The authorities must provide houses to the poor so that they do not encroach government land. The authorities must take proactive steps to prevent encroachments on government land.

Saikrit Gulati, Chandigarh


An old problem

The encroachment of government land in Chandigarh and elsewhere is an old problem. The Administration wakes up only when the situation goes out of control. In fact, the Administration is aware of encroachments, but officials keep their eyes closed till the situation goes out of control. Mostly, migrant labourers, who land in the city for manual and menial jobs, encroach government land. They cannot afford housing and other facilities in the expensive city. All government lands should be fenced. Lower-rung officials are bribed to encroach government land. A sincere and concerned effort is needed to prevent encroachment on government land.

Dr Anil Kumar Yadav, Chandigarh


Officials should have acted immediately

Encroachment on government land is illegal. But it is equally worse to bulldoze hutments where people have been living for the last 40 years. It is totally inhumane. Officials should have acted when the first shanty was erected on the government land in the UT. The Administration should depute some inspectors to check encroachments in the city.

Sqn Ldr Manjit Johar (retd), Chandigarh


QUESTION

While residents’ welfare associations have been maintaining neighbourhood parks in Chandigarh, the Municipal Corporation has decided to rope in private players as well for the job. What other steps should the civic body take for better maintenance of the parks in the UT?

Suggestions in not more than 70 words can be sent to openhouse@tribunemail.com

Tribune Shorts


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