The Patiala Urban Development Authority (PUDA) on Friday began a drive to seal unauthorised marriage palaces under its jurisdiction.
Nearly 60 palaces, which did not get themselves regularised under the special policy introduced in 2012, would be sealed in the next couple of days, said PUDA’s senior town planner Mandeep Kaur.
A year ago, the PUDA identified 170 marriage palaces in Patiala, Fatehgarh Sahib, Sangrur and Barnala districts that were running illegally, which meant that they did not seek the required permission before starting their premises. The lack of safety norms was another major concern.
The scheme for their regularisation was launched in 2012 under the directions of the Punjab and Haryana high court in which it was mandatory for marriage palaces to apply for change of land use, building plan approvals, arrange adequate parking arrangements besides ensuring fire-fighting equipment and getting the no-objection certificate from the Punjab Pollution Control Board.
Mandeep said that the palaces, which are being sealed now, were given sufficient time to meet the norms, which they did not do despite the department’s numerous notices. Even public notices were advertised more than once.
“Since these palaces lack safety norms and other security aspects, they can’t be allowed to take people’s lives for granted. Hence, they are being sealed now and will not be allowed to function in future.”
She said that most of these palaces are in small towns and rural areas. “The four teams in different districts will shut them down in the next couple of days. The list of all sealed palaces would be shared once the drive will be completed,” she added.
The PUDA, meanwhile, will also start the ground inspection of all the other palaces, which were regularised during the last one year to see whether they adhered to the norms set by the government.