Even as the deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal had directed all the deputy commissioners of the state not to register the properties situated in unauthorised colonies, the state Bhartiya Janta Party had decided to stand by the colonisers and take up this issue with chief minister Parkash Singh Badal.
Local Bodies Minister Punjab and senior BJP leader Bhagat Chunni Lal while addressing agitating colonisers outside his house today said, “The dissent over the newly introduced policy formulated by the state government for regularising unauthorised colonies is under consideration of the party and we are taking up this matter with CM Punjab in the coming days.”
While talking to HT Bhagat said, “The matter was brought into the notice of state President Kamal Sharma four days ago and it was discussed in the core committee of BJP. It was decided that State president Kamal Sharma, Ashwani Sharma, Balramji Dass Tandon, Anil Joshi and me would meet CM Punjab to safeguard the interests of urbanites and colonisers.”
“We have received several representations on different aspects of the policy from various stakeholders. As a party, BJP would not tolerate injustice with them and try to defend their cause,” he added.
It is pertinent to mention that BJP had to face lot of opposition from urban voters, which had been its base and strength, over decisions taken by Shiromani Akali Dal led alliance government. After the issues of delay in VAT refund and imposition of Property Tax, on the issue of unapproved and unauthorised colonies BJP again has to face ire from its voters.
On a media query, minister said, “We have also received complaints that revenue department officials had started asking the residents of approved and authorised colonies to bring ‘No Objection Certificates’ issued by Municipal Corporation, Municipal Councils and some other departments before registering their properties, which is unjustified and not desirable. We are issuing instructions to the revenue officials to display list of approved colonies and stop demanding NOCs from property owners. It can also lead to harassment and corruption.”
Earlier in the day, the members of Punjab Colonisers and Property Dealer Association sat on dharna outside the office of Local Bodies minister to mark their protest over the provisions of newly introduced policy to regularise the unauthorised colonies.
Hundreds of colonisers across the state gathered on Mahavir Marg and moved in the shape of procession raising slogans against the state government, towards the house of minister.
Addressing the gathering, secretary Jalandhar unit of the association RS Gill said, “The clauses of this newly introduced policy are vague and illogical. Heavy charges have been proposed by the government, both on colonisers as well consumers. The government should impose policies for the new colonies, not for those colonies which had been fully occupied by the people over a period of 10 to 15 years.”
Meanwhile, reacting on the ban on registries in the unapproved colonies former local MLA and Congress Leader Jagbir Singh Brar today called it as arbitrary and unwanted decision.
“This would shatter the dreams of middle class society people of the state for owning their houses as they would not be able to purchase their houses now,” Brar said adding that, “In most of the colonies, site-maps are being passed, roads are carpeted, water supply is provided and sewerage is operational. This all became possible with the connivance of civic authorities. How can they penalise the occupants arbitrarily after passing of 15 years.”
Colonisers then submitted memorandum to Local Bodies Minister with their charter of demands.
Colonisers to organise state level conference at Batala on Sunday
To motivate the people of state against the illogical provisions of the policy formulated by state government to regularise the unapproved colonies, a state level conference would be organised at Batala on Sunday.
State President of Punjab Colonisers and Property Dealer Association, Kultar Singh Jogi revealed this while talking to HT.
“The government had announced heavy composition fees for both colonisers and property owners even for the properties sold after 15-10-1995. Most of the colonisers are no more now. Very vague and baseless provisions have been made by the state government in the policy,” he said adding that, “not only colonisers, businessmen, service people, common men; all would suffer if the policy is imposed in toto. In the conference being held tomorrow, we would deliberate on all aspects of this policy in detail.”
“If the need arises, agitations would be planned in different parts of the state to press the government to reconsider this policy,” he added.