LIT officials shut eyes to bylaw violations

Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, January 23

While brazen violation of building bylaws and illegal change of land use continue unabated in most colonies developed (and maintained) by the Ludhiana Improvement Trust (LIT), the officials are closing their eyes to the unregulated development - to the extent that in many colonies the residential areas are fast turning into commercial centres - either partially or completely.

What residents feel

  • Residents of Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar strongly feel that if such violations of building bylaws and illegal change of land use were not curbed sternly, the very idea of having an ideally designed and well-developed colony would stand defeated and those who had invested their hard-earned money to buy land and property in such colonies would feel cheated and betrayed.

Even though the situation with regard to violations was almost the same in most colonies, Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar on Pakhowal Road seems to have attained the dubious distinction of being the biggest offender. The colony has always been in the news for all the wrong reasons – be it illegal change of land use, violation of standard design and building bylaws or delivery of poor civic amenities.

The local residents have recently drawn the attention of LIT officials towards a building under construction in G Block of the colony on the main road near the City Centre site where the upper floor was being raised on the projection in violation of the house-line (a non-compoundable offence liable to be demolished) and building bylaws.

Similarly, in the E-block of the colony, upper floors were being constructed in the pocket of 40 square yards plots in violation of the standard design laid down in the layout of the scheme and clearly mentioned in the allotment letters issued to allottees of residential plots. Not only this, some of the plot owners had also resorted to illegal change of land use by making commercial use of residential plots fully or partially.

NGO files complaint

  • An NGO, Society for Public Welfare and Awareness, has sent a complaint to the Department of Local Government against 12 alleged illegal constructions in the Zone C of the Municipal Corporation. The complainant, Simratpal Singh Kalsi, from the NGO, alleged that these buildings were being constructed in violation of the building bylaws, and those were non-compoundable violations. He requested the Principal Secretary, Department of Local Government, to issue directions to the civic body to act against these violations. TNS

Earlier, it was the same colony where allegations of connivance of the LIT employees and officials with SCF owners with regard to illegal change of land use (commercial use of residential portions) was probed by the Vigilance Bureau and officials were indicted for dereliction of duty and causing financial loss to the exchequer. That the government was still sitting over the recommendations of the VB for taking action against the guilty persons, was another story.

Residents of the colony strongly feel that if such violations of building bylaws and illegal change of land use were not curbed sternly, the very idea of having an ideally designed and well-developed colony would stand defeated and those who had invested their hard-earned money to buy land and property in such colonies would feel cheated and betrayed.

About violation of house-line, building bylaws and standard design, the LIT officials said the field staff had been asked to carry out a spot survey and submit a report. “Action, if warranted for violations would be taken against the allottees,” said the officials.

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