As the time to file affidavit regarding removal of encroachments is approaching, the Ludhiana municipal corporation (MC) has served final notices on 156 encroachers in Industrial Area which falls under Zone B.
The civic body has directed the owners to vacate the encroached area near Cheema Chowk by Tuesday, otherwise demolition drive will be conducted.
Though the MC has also issued notices to people, who have encroached upon areas in other parts of the city, sources claimed that some political leaders were interfering to protect encroachments in their respective areas.
In a hearing of contempt petition (COCP) number 27 of 2013 filed by city resident Rohit Sabharwal, the Punjab and Haryana high court had pulled up the MC for failing to remove encroachments.
Last hearing was on September 30 this year in which the MC had sought a two-month time to remove the encroachments, while the court had also directed to file the affidavit about specified action taken and actual removal of the encroachments within nine weeks with an advance copy to the counsel for the petitioner. The next hearing is scheduled for January 27.
The MC authorities have claimed that there are chances that a demolition drive will be conducted in the coming week to follow the directions of the high court.
On the other hand, the encroachers in residential areas have been requesting to regularise the encroachments by adopting settlement process.
The MC had identified 6,355 encroachments following the directions of the high court in a civil writ petition filed in 2003. According to sources, around 2,200 encroachments were removed while some were removed from the list after settlement.
In major drives against permanent encroachments this year, 70 illegal structures were removed in Pavitar Nagar, 18 near Baba Balak Nath Mandir adjoining Rishi Nagar, 33 in Giaspura and 60 in Ghumar Mandi. A source in the MC said remaining encroachments of Pavitar Nagar could also be razed this time.
MC zonal commissioner (Zone B) Kamlesh Bansal said: “There are both commercial and residential encroachments in the industrial area. We can conduct the demolition drive in the coming week as final notices were issued to vacate the encroached area.”