Even as the state government is in the process of framing a policy to govern marriage palaces, the Punjab Marriage Palace and Resort Association has urged the government not to impose the change-in-land-use (CLU) charges on them for the period before September 2007.
Addressing a press conference here on Tuesday to highlight the problems being faced by marriage palace owners, the association demanded that the government have a reasonable fee for getting the CLU done and this should not be imposed on palaces for the period before September 2007.
"We urge the government to be considerate while imposing charges on marriage palaces. It should take these charges only from September 2007 onwards and that too in half-yearly instalments. The business has been suffering in wake of the closure notices slapped on us," said Sukhdev Singh, vice-president of the association.
Association chairman Amarjit Singh said, "We are expected to provide adequate parking facility and are ready to do it, but our only request is that the government exempt the area under parking from CLU charges. We will ensure that no vehicle is parked on the road and there is adequate parking arrangement. Marriage palace owners will have to buy the land or take it on lease, so the government should consider exempting the area from charges."
Manvinder Singh Goldy, a marriage palace owner from Patiala, rued, "Since there is no policy for marriage palaces, a few owners could not apply or get the required permission from government departments and the charges imposed under the commercial category are too high, so most of marriage palace owners have no option but to close down. Also, installing a sewage treatment plant is being made mandatory for marriage palace owners. Having such plants at marriage places, which are operational only for a few months, is not desirable."
Harjit Singh Gill, another marriage palace owner, said, "The policy also talks of annual inspections in which eight departments will hold inspections. The government should ensure that inspections are entrusted to a single department. We want that the government frame a policy which applies to the housing and urban development department and the department of local bodies."