After carrying out biggest demolition drive by removing Colony Number 5, the UT administration has set in motion the process to remove three more illegal colonies in Sector 52.
The administration in October last year had given a 21-day notice to slum dwellers residing in three colonies - Kuldeep Colony, Pandit Colony and Majdoor Colony - following the directions of UT administrator Shivraj Patil.
Around 600 families are residing illegally in these colonies, except for a total of 71 families, which are eligible but could not be allotted houses due to incomplete paper work. The Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB) is making arrangements for the left-out families.
The other eligible families were rehabilitated in May last year in flats constructed under the Slum Rehabilitation Scheme under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM).
Confirming the development, UT assistant estate officer (AEO) said the three colonies were next in line.
He further stated, "Some more time will be given to the eligible residents, though they had enough time to complete paper work for the purpose of rehabilitation."
The estate office will once again issue notice before starting the process of removing illegal structures by the end of next month.
The land encroached upon measuring around 15 acres has been earmarked for the expansion plans of the third phase of the city. The slum dwellers illegally encroached upon the land much before it was acquired by the administration in early 1990s.
As per official data, the slums in Chandigarh include Ambedkar Colony, Gurusagar Colony, Janta Colony, Kabari Colony, Kalyan Colony, Kuldeep Colony, Colony Number 4, LBS Colony, Madrasi Colony, Majdoor Colony, Nerhu Colony, Rajiv Colony, Sanjay Colony, Maulijagran, Shahpur Colony and Pandit Colony.
Before being removed, Colony number 5 was the biggest slum with maximum population living in 7,035 houses, while Colony number 4 is currently having the highest population with as many as 5,185 houses.
A welcome move
The decision of the UT administration to remove illegal slums has found support from the Federation of Sector Welfare Associations Chandigarh (FOSWAC).
FOSWAC chairman PC Sanghi said there was no place for slums in a well-planned city like Chandigarh. "All eligible slum dwellers should be rehabilitated at the earliest so that the land, which is limited, can be put to best use," said Sanghi.
He claimed that removal of slums would also lead to reduction in crime rate in city.