Around one lakh dwellers of 24 illegal colonies under the area governed by the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) have got no relief even as the Punjab government regularises such colonies across the state.
The notification of the policy says it is applicable for a period of one year -- April 1 to March 31, 2013 -- in the entire state of Punjab except areas covered under the Chandigarh Periphery Controlled Area and the GMADA Regional Plan. As per GMADA's own list, there are 24 illegal colonies in its jurisdiction area.
On the other hand, this once again puts the spotlight on GMADA's lack of punitive action against such colonies in the first place. For the past 15 years, the authority has not any action against these colonies, eight of which came up in the past seven years and three in the past two years.
A case in point is Sky Rock city in Behrampura village that came up in 2011. UK Homes Private Limited in Sohana built its colony this year in May, and another illegal colony owned by a man named Harjit Singh in Daun came up barely a year ago.
Of the 24 colonies - 20,000 houses approximately -- criminal cases have been registered against 11 colonies. GMADA additional chief administrator Manjit Brar said, "As soon as we get to know about any illegal colony, we lodge a police complaint against the owner. Now since these colonies do not come under the government policy, they have to face action."
"We do register cases when we get complaints from GMADA. Most cases are already in court," said superintendent of police (SP), city, Swarandeep Singh.
But the chairman of Mohali Property Consultants' Association (MPCA), Shailander Anand, got straight to the point: "It is strange that some of these illegal colonies came up in the past three years and GMADA acted as a mute spectator. Had GMADA initiated action then itself, these colonies won't have even existed. The owners of these colonies cheat innocent people."