Complying with the orders of Punjab and Haryana high court, Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) has issued closure notices to 106 marriages palaces functioning under its area of jurisdiction.
The notices said that since these marriages palaces had not been issued change of land use (CLU) certificates, they ought to be closed. The final date of hearing of objections has been fixed for August 27.
The notice further read that if affected marriage palace owners had relevant documents to prove CLU eligibility, they could produce the same on August 27, failing which closure action would be taken. Interestingly, GMADA is now asking for Rs 1.25 crore per acre for CLU certification.
When contacted, GMADA chief administrator AK Sinha confirmed that notices had been issued to 106 marriages palaces functioning without CLU. "We have fixed August 27 for them to produce the relevant documents, failing which we will start sealing the premises," he said.
On the other hand, owners of marriage palaces were in a fix since they had already booked functions till March 2013.
"We have booked functions till March 2013. We are running these marriage palaces for the past decade and now they are asking for CLUs. GMADA has conducted surveys several times to regularise our marriage palaces, but now again they are asking for CLUs. We are ready to pay some reasonable amount as CLU," said Raman Khanna, owner of Palki Palace in Balongi village.
Brijinder Singh, owner of Alishan Palace at industrial area Phase-1, rued, "It is very unfortunate that the Punjab government has not framed any policy till date on the issue and now the GMADA is harassing us for CLUs. Moreover, we are serving the people of tricity since SAS Nagar does not have proper community centers to hold such functions."
Nikhil Saraf, president of Mohali industry and commerce association, said, "The sudden notices have shaken everyone in the city. GMADA should come out with a concrete policy that is practical and also helps save the hospitality industry. Moreover, thousands of workers working in all these marriage palaces would be affected in case authorities go ahead with their closure action."