The death of lawyer Amarpreet Singh, 32, in firing over parking issue in Phase 3A on Wednesday night has finally woken the SAS Nagar administration from its slumber, as deputy commissioner has promised action against illegal paying guest accommodations flourishing in the town within a fortnight.
"I have taken up the issue with GMADA authorities about the crackdown against illegal paying guest accommodations in SAS Nagar. They would give us the list within a fortnight and we would close all the illegal PGs operating in SAS Nagar," said deputy commissioner Varun Roojam.
On the other hand, local residents facing problems due to illegal PGs have slammed the district authorities as well as Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) for their "callousness" in dealing with the menace.
"GMADA has failed to act against illegal paying guest accommodations. GMADA had been trying to implement its policy to regulate illegal PGs but failed and all its claims of dealing with the menace are mere eyewash. Till date, no action has been taken, Officials of GMADA who failed to act against illegal PGs should be taken to task," said PS Virdi, president of consumer protection federation, SAS Nagar.
It is pertinent to mention here that GMADA had framed a policy to regulate paying guest accommodations since October 2012, and promised action against such illegal outlets in SAS Nagar. However, it failed to act and went on extending deadline for acting against owners of illegal PGs.
GMADA's survey had revealed that only nine of the 461 paying guest accommodations in the town were registered.
After Wednesday night's firing incident that led to murder of lawyer Amarpreet Singh, police booked the landlord on charge of not getting tenant verifications done.
It was found that though the accommodation was rented out to two persons as PGs, the numbers of persons staying in the accommodation was far more.
"The landlord failed to get the verification of his tenants done. Police registered a case against the landlord as he failed to get tenant verification done, which is mandatory," said deputy commissioner Varun Roojam.
"We have booked landlord Janak Raj, an employee of Punjab school education board. He has been booked under Section 188, which is used against house owners who violate the mandatory directives under Section 144 of the CrPC to furnish antecedents of their tenants with the area police station," said SAS Nagar SSP Gurpreet Singh Bhullar.
In May 2012, police had booked owners of three flats in Sector 68 for their alleged failure to inform police about students staying as paying guests on their properties.
In July 2010, a landlord was arrested but later bailed out on charge of defying the district magistrate's order of getting the antecedents of tenants verified through the police.