UT finance secretary Saravjit Singh has dismissed the appeal of the guest house owners who had represented against the sealing of their guest houses across the city. In a meeting held on Monday, the finance secretary dismissed the appeal and stated that the issue did not fall under his preview and jurisdiction.
Rajeev Gupta, municipal corporation (MC) joint commissioner, confirming the development, said, “The MC has sought help from police and the UT administration and will start the process of sealing guest houses.”
Acting on the directions of the Punjab and Haryana high court, the Chandigarh MC had recently issued an order for the closure of 123 illegal guest houses, motels and hotels operating from the UT villages. The MC had announced that they would seal the units if they were not shut down by December 3.
The guest house owners had moved the UT administration after the MC orders last month. The orders had been issued after several notices under the Chandigarh Administration Rules, 2006 (erection and re-erection of building). According to the order, the MC had asked the owners to submit revised building plans, failing which parts of buildings constructed in violation of the rules would be demolished. After the civic body had failed to comply with the directives of the high court, a contempt petition was filed last year, seeking action against the authorities concerned.
Accepting the contempt petition, the HC had asked the MC to comply with the orders issued in 2004, when it had directed the closure of all illegal guest houses and hotels.
As many as 123 guesthouses and hotels have been constructed in violation of the building bylaws in the past two decades. The guest houses are primarily located in Manimajra, Palsora, Hallomajra, Dadumajra, Burail, Kajheri and Attawa. A majority of them are in Attawa, Burail and Kajheri. Three years back, the civic body had prepared a report on the violations of these guest houses and hotels.
The report stated that most of them were multi-storey buildings constructed with basements. Dingy rooms, lack of implementation of fire-safety norms, and loose electricity wires, were some of the common problems in these guest houses. Meanwhile, Jasbir Singh Bunty, general secretary, the village guest house association, Chandigarh, said, “We will request the UT administration to give us some more time. If not given more time, we will approach the high court again.”