A number of buildings belonging to department of technical education and industrial training (DTEIT) are under illegal occupation and the squatters are none but the government departments.
Requests to vacate the land have not yielded any result so far. In April last, the chief secretary had reportedly asked the departments concerned to vacate the encroached properties, but the situation is more or less the same.
The properties are in the illegal possession of Punjab police and home guards. The Industrial Training Institute at Pathankot is occupied by public health department. In the one at Talwara in Hoshiarpur, the department of higher education is running an arts and science college.
In Moonak, a government college is functioning from the DTEIT building, while in Budhlada, a JBT school is run from the DTEIT building.
In Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar, the residence of senior superintendent of police is in a building meant for the ITI principal. The house was requisitioned in 1995 when Nawanshahr (now Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar) became a district. Now, the police department wants the building to be permanently transferred to it.
In Moga, Kapurthala and Qadian too, police are illegally occupying the DTEIT buildings.
In the early 90s, a number of buildings were taken over by the government to impart training to misguided youths to enable them upgrade their skills and join the mainstream. Many of these buildings belonged to DTEIT.
At least six such properties are still with the C-PYTE (Centre for training and employment of Punjab Youth).
"We have been writing to the departments concerned from time to time but to no avail. Last year, the chief secretary called a special meeting to discuss the issue and directed to get all encroachments vacated within two months but so far we have not reclaimed any property," said Daljit Kaur, additional director, IT wing. She revealed that the department was not getting any rent from the occupants.