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HindustanTimes Sat,23 Aug 2014

PUDA puts off plans to demolish old buildings for a while

Ravinder Vasudeva, Hindustan Times  Patiala, March 18, 2013
First Published: 19:41 IST(18/3/2013) | Last Updated: 19:42 IST(18/3/2013)

After facing criticism over its plan to demolish some historical buildings of Patiala so that the land can be put to commercial use, the Punjab Urban Development Authority (PUDA), for the time being, has put the controversial proposal on hold.

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"The plan has been put off till we get further directions from the higher ups," additional chief administrator, PUDA, Anandita Mitra, told Hindustan Times.

As per the plan, PUDA had decided to demolish a cluster of old buildings adjacent to the Fountain Chowk on the Mall Road that once served as the residences of ministers of the erstwhile princely state of Patiala.

The tenders to demolish the building were to be floated in March.

On February 4, Hindustan Times had highlighted PUDA's proposal to demolish the buildings housing the head office of water supply and sanitation department on the Mall Road. Even the tenders for the demolition had been floated, but after a widespread hue and cry, the PUDA put off the plan. PUDA had planned to sell the 5-acre plot in the open market.

The buildings which were to be demolished had come up at least 130 years back during the time of Maharaja Rajinder Singh, the ruler of erstwhile princely state of Patiala.

Apart from its historical importance, the building was also the part of the original structure of the globally famous Baradari Gardens that has rare species of trees and plants from across the globe.

Sources said the issue might be discussed in the PUDA meeting scheduled for Tuesday in Chandigarh.

The price of the land in case it is put under the hammer is pegged at Rs. 1.20 lakh per square yard.

As per PUDA plans, many other buildings, including the Central Jail, were set to be demolished.

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