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HindustanTimes Tue,02 Sep 2014

Illegal structures: MC to take action on Nov 18

Shaheen P Parshad, Hindustan Times  Amritsar, November 14, 2013
First Published: 23:41 IST(14/11/2013) | Last Updated: 23:42 IST(14/11/2013)

Tightening the noose around unauthorized structures that have sprung up in areas around the Golden Temple, in violation of the orders of the Punjab and Haryana high court, the Amritsar Municipal Corporation has decided to initiate action against them on November 18.

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The team of the municipal town planning department -- which had been assigned the task to conduct a survey of illegal establishments -- submitted its report to the civic body on Thursday.

Despite the court issuing directions that no fresh building plans will be sanctioned till further orders, illegal structures have come up in the area.  Some of these are also likely to face demolition.

Amritsar municipal commissioner DPS Kharbanda told Hindustan Times on Thursday, "Action will be taken against these illegal establishments for violating the court order. Nearly 40 such hotels are still under construction in the vicinity of the Golden Temple."

Alleging that the illegal establishments had come up in connivance with some officials of the municipal town planning department, he said, "The MC will approach the government for initiating action against these officials."
 
"I will write to the government to take action against these officials, including assistant town planners and municipal town planners. Cases should be registered against them," said Kharbanda.

The municipal commissioner said, "A letter in this regard will be dispatched to the government by Friday. Besides this, the MC will initiate action against these establishments from Monday."

Action would be taken in accordance with law, he added.
A large number of illegal hotels are under construction in the area where the Amritsar Improvement Trust (AIT) had demolished shops to pave way for widening the road from Ghee Mandi to Golden Temple.

Other such hotels are situated in other areas around the Golden Temple.

The Punjab Human Rights Organisation (PFRO) had filed a public interest litigation in 2010 in connection with the illegal hotels in the periphery of the Golden Temple.

Illegal hotels around Golden Temple: Around 400
Fresh constructions: Around 40

Illegalities:
1.
Lack of adequate space required for running a hotel. Many residences have been turned into hotels.
2. Absence of parking facility.
3. No registration under Sarai Act for existing hotels;
4. Violation of HC orders regarding sanction of building plans for upcoming ones

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