Even seven years after submitting an affidavit in the court, the UT administration has failed to keep its commitment of regularising construction outside the 'lal dora'.
The term 'lal dora' refers to that part of the traditional village land that can be used for non-agricultural purpose only, or for support systems like livestock. This acts as the boundary within which the overarching norms of the local body or development authority do not apply. In 2006, the administration had transferred five villages - Hallomajra, Palsora, Dadumajra, Maloya and Kajheri - to the municipal corporation. Fearing enforcement of strict construction norms, the villagers challenged the decision of the administration in the Punjab and Haryana high court.
The administration submitted an affidavit in the court that it would take a decision on the houses constructed by the residents outside the lal dora, and "suitably exempt certain areas from the operation of Periphery Control Act in all villages on considerations of density of population, contiguity of existing houses and requirement of land for future development, provided relocation of some existing, isolated houses/buildings into exempt areas is carried out".
Later that year, the MC also agreed to extend its jurisdiction to the villages and requested the administration to give its decision regarding regularisation of existing construction outside the lal dora of villages to be included in the MC area and framing a onetime scheme for it.
In the second phase, Buterla, Badheri, Burail and Attawa were also transferred to the MC. As such, nine of the 22 villages are under the control of the MC now.
The administration has been facing flak for its failure to regularise the construction outside lal dora, and the Chandigarh Nagrik Vikas Manch has been at loggerheads with it on the issue. Pawan Kumar Sharma, chairman of the Manch, criticised the administration for backtracking on the affidavit.
In the Chandigarh draft master plan 2031, the administration has pointed out that unauthorised constructions have come up on over 250 acres outside the lal dora in the UT's villages. When contacted, finance secretary VK Singh said that the master plan committee had made "certain recommendations" pertaining to the construction outside lal dora. But he did not commit: "Whatever will be feasible as per recommendations will be implemented with proper planning."
The administration had recently formulated building bylaws for villages to put a check on haphazard urbanisation. In the absence of such bylaws earlier, villages have witnessed unsafe and unregulated construction. The master plan, too, has laid stress on framing well-defined bylaws for growth of the UT's villages.
Villages of Chandigarh
Under UT admn: Kaimbwala, Khuda Ali Sher, Khuda Lahora, Khuda Jassu, Sarangpur, Dhanas, Kishangarh, Behlana, Daria, Mauli Jagran, Makhanmajra, Raipur Kalan and Raipur Khurd
Under MC: Hallomajra, Palsora, Dadumajra, Maloya, Kajheri, Butrela, Badheri, Burail and Attawa