The Punjab and Haryana high court has granted four weeks' time to the Chandigarh administration and the municipal corporation to ensure removal of all illegal encroachments from the Sector-22 market and submit a status report, which must also include the fate of a proposal to enhance the fine for violations.
The directions came during the resumed hearing of a public interest litigation filed by the Sector 22 Residents' Welfare Society. Also, since the corporation has no express powers to take action against violators, the court directed the estate office to take action and submit its reply on the next date of hearing.
On Monday, Sunil Bhatia, additional commissioner, MC, informed the court that to remove encroachments on public land, 17 sub-inspectors along with about 79 workers had been deployed. Also, he said, as per court orders issued on August 20, a proposal had been sent to the secretary for local government, Chandigarh administration, to enhance the fine under the Punjab Municipal Corporation Act, 1976, from `500 to `5,000 for encroachments. During arguments, the issue of enhancing fine to `10,000 for violations also came up.
Further, the court was told that a list of encroachers in Sector 19 (Sadar and Palika Bazaars) and Sector 22 (Shashtri Market) had been submitted to the estate officer on December 12 last year to take necessary action against the violators since the MC had no powers as such. Two sub-inspectors of the enforcement wing had also been entrusted with the duty of removal of encroachments in Sector 22C and D, the court was informed.
The case would now come up for hearing on November 11.
Fine collected from Sec 22
Year Number of challans Fine collected (`)
2013 3,386 8.25 lakh
2012 3,583 9.22 lakh
2011 3,226 7.56 lakh
2010 4,236 9.28 lakh