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Posted at: Jul 12, 2019, 7:11 AM; last updated: Jul 12, 2019, 7:11 AM (IST)

Of 7K illegal colonies, only 10% apply for regularisation

Govt extends deadline, builders fume over criminal charges
Of 7K illegal colonies, only 10% apply for regularisation
The last deadline ended on June 30. File photo

Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, July 11

With just 700 applications received for regularisation of illegal colonies under a policy notified in October 2018, the Punjab’s Housing and Urban Development Department has decided to extend the deadline by another two months.

The last deadline ended on June 30. Seeing the lukewarm response to the policy, the department will once again hold parleys with the consortium of Punjab Colonisers’ Association, which blames the government for not implementing its decision taken in previous meetings.

Housing and Urban Development Minister Sukhbinder Singh Sarkaria said, “We have decided to extend the deadline by two months. We are holding a meeting in the coming days to look into the concerns of private colonisers.”

Official figures reveal that of the 7,000 illegal colonies, Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (PUDA) has listed approximately 4,500 colonies, while the remaining are located in areas under the jurisdiction of the local government.

During the previous SAD-BJP regime, nearly 2,500 illegal colonies were regularised against 7,000 applications received.

“We are yet to take a decision regarding illegal structures that do not even qualify for regularisation. Since any action against them will affect a large number of people, the matter will be discussed at the party level,” the minister said.

Colonisers, meanwhile, claimed that field officials in various development authorities under PUDA were still asking for simple interest and penal interest on the pending applications, despite Cabinet decision to waive Rs 143 crore interest on the pending dues of colonisers.

Gurvinder Singh Lamba, general secretary, Punjab Colonisers’ and Property Dealers’ Association, said despite the clause of criminal proceedings to be withdrawn against promoters who deposit 100 per cent composition charges, no such relief had been given so far. The policy says the proceedings would be withdrawn only after the layout plan of the colony was approved by the committee.

In case of individual plot holders, it has been demanded that no objection certificate (NOC) should be issued on the basis of valid payment receipts as registration of such properties has been banned by the government. It would help the individual plot owners who are seeking loan on property or want to sell it.

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