With the UT administration setting a deadline to make Chandigarh a slum-free city by March 2017, it has already conducted a survey for this purpose and identified around 23,000 families living in slums across the city.
There are plans to conduct intensive drives to remove the colonies, rehabilitate the dwellers and get the government land free from encroachment.
Sources say the UT encroachment wing enforcement staff is planning a major drive this week to remove Guru Sagar Colony in Maloya, spread in about 4 acre, and LBS Colony spread on about 15-acre near Phase 1, SAS Nagar. Last week, the encroachment staff had carried out a drive to remove encroachments on the Kaimbwala periphery.
Estate office tehsildar (enforcement) Amarinder Singh Manais said, “Our ultimate aim is to get the government-land free from encroachments by March 2017. Over 60-acre is still occupied by the encroachers, while over 200 acre has already been vacated.”
He added all the drives are held under the direction of deputy commissioner Ajit Balaji Joshi. “We try not to conduct drives during extreme weather conditions — too much cold or during hot days,” he said.
The administration will achieve the target of razing 15 slums of the identified 18 slums by the April-end, say sources.
After conducting a biometric survey and identifying slum dwellers, the slum dwellers are properly rehabilitated. The colonies removed in the last ten years include Colony Number 5, Nehru Colony, Kuldeep Colony and Mazdoor Colony.
Sources confirm by this year, the administration plans to remove Sanjay Colony, Industrial Area, Phase 1, and Rajiv Colony in Sector 38. The Colony Number 4, covering maximum area of around 35 acre, will also be removed by the year-end, following the competition of flats for their rehabilitation.
The administration is working towards fulfilling the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s resolve “to provide house to every citizen of the country by 2022”, add sources.
In the last phase of the drive, Janta Colony, Kumhar Colony near the Sector-25 cremation ground and Adarsh Colony at the backside of the furniture market Sector 34 will be removed, say sources, adding a colony in Dhanas has secured a stay from the Supreme Court so it can’t be removed.
Major drives at Guru Sagar colony, LBS colony soon
The administration is planning to conduct a major drive at Guru Sagar Colony, Maloya, on April 25, and LBS Colony on April 29. It had carried out a massive drive to remove Colony Number 5; the dwellers were provided flats that accommodated over 40,000 people. The Union ministry of housing and urban poverty alleviation had earlier approved the construction of around 25,000 flats for the rehabilitation of the slum-dwellers in Chandigarh.