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HindustanTimes Tue,23 Sep 2014

Govt relif to 'illegal' hotels, asks MC to restore old building by-laws

Shaheen P Parshad, Hindustan Times  Amritsar, February 07, 2014
First Published: 00:33 IST(7/2/2014) | Last Updated: 00:35 IST(7/2/2014)

Even as the Punjab and Haryana high court directed the municipal corporation (MC) to form a three-member panel to look into growing illegal hotels on the periphery of the Golden Temple, the Punjab government has directed the MC to bring into force old building by-laws to offer relief to the owners of these hotels.

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MC officials said a meeting in this regard was also held recently in Chandigarh following the demand of the Amritsar Hotel Association to impliment the 1976 building by-laws to regularise their establishments in and around Galliara area.

Last Thursday, the association, in a letter to the MC, urged to revert the building by-laws preceding 1997 for the regularisation of hotels.

"The MC has partially accepted our demand of reverting to the building by-laws on the grounds that Amritsar is an old city and structures around the Golden Temple, which have been converted into hotels after little renovation, are old buildings," said Surinder Singh, president of the association.

While confirming the development Mayor Bakshi Ram Arora said a meeting was held in Chandigarh following a representation by the association. "The owners of illegal hotels under the aegis of the association had sent a representation to the MC, seeking restoration of the 1976 building by-laws for the regularisation of their establishments," said the Mayor.

He added the government had sent a letter to the MC, asking them to enforce the old by-laws.
Meanwhie, municipal commissioner DPS Kharbanda said the matter would be brought to the House for approval during the next meeting.

Kharbanda said proper legal procedures would be followed in this regard. "We will consult legal experts and fulfill all requisite legal formalities in this regard," he said.

However, Sarabjit Singh, principal investigator, the Punjab Human Rights Organisation (PHRO), the organisation which had filed a PIL in this connection in 2010, said it would not help much to the owners of illegal hotels.

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