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HindustanTimes Sun,24 Aug 2014

Estate office serves notice to 'unauthorised' occupants

Vinod Kumar, Hindustan Times  Chandigarh, December 11, 2012
First Published: 00:24 IST(11/12/2012) | Last Updated: 00:25 IST(11/12/2012)

Coming down heavily on traders who occupy resumed commercial properties and continue to violate building bylaws, the UT estate office has started serving notices to the 'unauthorised' occupants of such premises.

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There are over 500 buildings in the city, which have been resumed by the estate office, but could not be vacated as appeals of the traders are still pending with the authorities concerned.

As per the court directions, the estate office cannot get a resumed property vacated till the appeal is settled.

In many such cases, eviction is pending for more than three decades. Though the estate office has resumed the buildings, some traders have stopped using the sites, while others have further violated various building bylaws.

To check the practice, the estate office has started serving notices under Section 10 of the Chandigarh Estate Rules 2009. This is for the first time such notices have been issued.

Defaulters have been directed to remove the building violations within two months from the date of notice. The penalty on account of building violation and misuse shall be borne by the occupants every month. All defaulters will be given 15 days from the date of issue of notice to explain why action should not be taken against them. If after the expiry of two months of the notice, the estate officer, after having afforded and opportunity of being heard to the allottee/lessee and the occupier, is satisfied that the building violations continue, the estate officer can seal the whole/part of the site to prevent further violations till the same are removed by the estate officers at the cost of occupier.

Assistant estate officer (AEO) Rahul Gupta said in case the occupants fail to remove the violations and restore the site to its original state, action under rule 10 of the Chandigarh Estate Rules will be initiated. "We want to ensure all rules are followed in letter and spirit. It will be beneficial for all the stakeholders." the AEO said.

The estate office has been drawing flak for failing to handle the cases of building violations. The decision will put a check on misuse of commercial property by traders in different sectors, including Sectors 17, 22, 26, 34 and 35. According to officials, all the prominent hotels in Sector 35 are operating in resumed sites.

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