Acting on the directions of Punjab and Haryana high court, the municipal corporation (MC) of Chandigarh has cracked the whip on 120 illegal guesthouses, motels and hotels operating from UT villages as they will face closure this month.
The MC had already issued them notices in June under the Chandigarh Administration (Erection and Re-erection of Building) Rules, 2006. The notice stated that one-month time will be given to remove building violations and to submit a revised building plan sanction, failing which part of the building erected in contravention to the rules shall be demolished.
After the MC failed to comply with the directives of the high court, a contempt petition was filed seeking action against the authorities. Accepting the contempt petition, the HC had given three months to the MC in May this year to comply with its earlier orders issued in 2004, when it had ordered the closure of these illegal guesthouses and hotels.
Speaking to HT, MC additional commissioner Lalit Siwach said, "In compliance with the high court directions, we are taking action and most of them will be facing closure soon."
As many as 120 guesthouses and hotels are functioning in the villages from the past two decades in violation of the building rules. The guesthouses are primarily located in Manimajra, Palsora, Hallomajra, Dadumajra, Burail, Kajheri and Attawa. Maximum of them are in Attawa, Burail and Kajheri. There are 23 villages, of which nine come within the MC limits.
Another senior official of the MC said, "Action has been initiated as per building bylaws 2006, but the UT administration is framing new building bylaws and objections have been asked for the same. As per the new bylaws, the commercial use of buildings shall be restricted to the ground floor."
One of the owners of an illegal hotel in Attawa, Jasbir Singh Bunty said, "We have requested the MC to allow us to operate till the new bylaws are formed and notified, but they are insisting on closing them down."
Three years back, the civic body prepared a report on the violations of these guesthouses and hotels. The report found that most of them are multi-storey buildings constructed with a basement. Dingy rooms, lack of fire-safety norms and electricity wires hanging loose are some of the common problems in these guesthouses.
Burail - 75
Attawa - 20
Kajheri - 21
Manimajra - 1
Palsora - 1
Dadumajra - 1
Hallomajra - 1