In a major initiative to check haphazard urban growth, deputy commissioner Shruti Singh on Thursday ordered the revenue officials concerned not to register properties in illegal colonies with immediate effect.
During a meeting of the revenue officials here, Singh said that the registering authority should personally visit the spot to verify whether the properties, including residential, institutional or commercial, were situated in duly authorised colonies or not before executing any registration deed.
“It has come to notice that illegal colonies are mushrooming in the district at an alarming pace. The only way to check the haphazard urban growth is to put rider at the first stage of registration of such land deals. This will force the illegal colonisers to fall in line and obtain the requisite licences from the Jalandhar Development Authority (JDA). Besides, it will ensure delivery of basic civic amenities to residents in an approved colony as mandated under the law," She said.
"The illegal colonisers are playing fraud on the gullible citizens by minting huge profits through sale of residential plots without caring to provide civic amenities. They carry out plotting at agricultural land in violation of the prescribed norms and later sell these small residential plots to the public. Later, the plot holders are left with no option but to seek civic amenities like roads, streetlights, water supply and sewerage from the Municipal Corporation or other government agencies," She quipped.
“Though the JDA is competent to demolish the structures raised in illegal colonies and it is carrying out such exercises as per the law at regular intervals, but it is better to check the loopholes in the beginning itself,” she said. "I am sure all the stakeholders will comply with the directions which are aimed at providing better facilities to the citizens," Singh, who is also the JDA's chief administrator, said.
"We are under the process to supply the list of authorised colonies to the tehsildars so that the registration of properties can be done as per the fresh orders beginning tomorrow," he added.
Sources said that there were nearly 1,000 illegal colonies in the district and a large section of politicians belonging to the ruling SAD-BJP combine as well as the Congress were involved in such a large-scale mushrooming of these residential colonies.
Sources said that property dealers and revenue officials were not keen on introduction of such a mechanism for “obvious reasons”.
JDA's additional chief administrator Sarojini Gautam Sharda said that the list of 162 approved colonies, including Jalandhar (79), Kapurthala (51) and Hoshiarpur (32), was available on the Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (PUDA) website www.puda.nic.in.
"The JDA had recommended registration of FIR against 404 illegal colonisers in three districts ever since its inception six years back. As many as 204 such cases were recommended to the police authorities concerned in Jalandhar district, followed by 122 cases in Kapurthala and 78 in Hoshiarpur districts," She said, adding that the police authorities concerned were being asked to supply the status report in this regard.
“Besides, the JDA has also lodged cases in respective courts to check the mushrooming of unauthorised colonies. We have lodged 106 cases in Jalandhar courts while 43 cases have been filed in Kapurthala and 16 cases in Hoshiarpur," she added.