Friday, October 18, 2019

Posted at: Apr 18, 2019, 8:51 AM; last updated: Apr 18, 2019, 8:51 AM (IST)

There is no sunshine for residents of ‘Sun City’

Basic amenities remain elusive in PUDA-approved colony

Kuldip Bhatia

Khanna/Ludhiana, April 17

Contrary to common belief that residents in an approved colony are better placed in terms of basic amenities and other facilities in comparison to their counterparts in ‘unlicenced/illegal’ colonies, residents of PUDA-approved ‘Sun City’ on Amloh Road, Khanna, in the district have been fighting a sustained battle for last many years to seek basic urban infrastructure like roads, water supply, sewerage and street lights. It is a different story that their efforts have not yielded the desired results till now.

In a turn of events, Sun City Colony was taken over by the Municipal Council (MC) in Khanna in August 2017, which had rekindled hopes of desperate residents that their fortune might change and the civic body might mitigate their suffering by providing much-needed sewer connectivity and urban infrastructure.

However, the MC also seems to have been caught in frivolous administrative wrangles and nothing worthwhile has been done to address grievances of colony residents.

According to Sunil Grover, a resident of the colony, the developer –Som Sons Colonisers Limited – had obtained a licence from PUDA to develop the colony in 2003. Even after a large number of plots were sold and construction of houses undertaken by buyers, development work for the urban infrastructure and basic amenities as per provisions made in the Punjab Apartment and Property Regulation Act (PAPRA) 1995 were not completed by the developer.

After prolonged litigation and round of several meetings convened by the Deputy Commissioner, officials of the Greater Ludhiana Area Development Authority (GLADA) and the Regional Deputy Director, Local Bodies, Punjab, with regard to problems being faced by residents, the colony was taken over by the Khanna MC.

As per rules, an amount of around Rs 83 lakh, deposited by the developer with PUDA as external development charges (EDC), was also transferred to the MC.

However, the change of guard brought no relief to residents as the colony was still devoid of proper roads/streets, functional sewage treatment plant (STP), connectivity of sewer lines with main sewer and other amenities including school, dispensary and common facilities, lamented Grover and many other colony residents.

They also alleged that the developer had failed to get his licence, promoter’s certificate and bank guarantee renewed and handed over colony to the MC without obtaining mandatory completion certificate.

The Khanna MC Executive Officer, Ranbir Singh, told The Tribune that the work for connecting sewerage and other urban infrastructure in the colony was delayed because the developer had not transferred ownership rights of common areas to the civic body, which was a statutory requirement.

“Till such time that the authorities wake up and realise the harrowing experience, which residents have been going through for the last several years, we are keeping our fingers crossed and hoping for the best,” said Harish Gupta, another colony resident.


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