Post the charge sheeting of 33 officials of the Municipal Town Planning Department of the Amritsar Municipal Corporation, who had allowed illegal construction during their tenures, B C Gupta, a retired Sessions Judge has been appointed as the Inquiry Officer and the enquiry process is on.
Madhavi Kataria, Additional Secretary to Government, Punjab, Department of Local Government, has stated this in an affidavit submitted to the Punjab and Haryana High Court in connection with the illegal construction near the Golden Temple.
Kataria has further alleged that the Special Committee constituted under the directions of the High Court is continuously monitoring the enforcement of bylaws and breach thereof as regards construction being raised near and in the vicinity of Sri Darbar Sahib, Amritsar, and for the stoppage of the illegal construction and the consequential act of demolition thereof.
Punjab Human Rights Organization (PHRO) had filed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) in 2010 in connection with the illegal hotels within the periphery of the Golden Temple. The Special Investigation Team (SIT) constituted to look into the matter had identified 125 hotels around the Golden Temple and Galliara.
As per an affidavit submitted by Deputy Commissioner of Police Bikram Pal Singh Bhatty, Amritsar Police Commissionerate was assigned the task of taking necessary suitable action under Sarai Act, 1867, against the hotels, guest houses and sarais functioning in the vicinity of the Golden Temple, whose buildings have been constructed against building bylaws.
He added that instructions have been issued to the SHO concerned to verify the status of the three Shiromani Gurudwara Prabandhak Committee (SGPC) run sarais, and there after take suitable action in accordance with law.
Meanwhile, PHRO Principal Investigator Sarabjit Singh has termed the Municipal Town Planning wing of the MC as a burden on the public. "The MTP department should be abolished as hardly any construction in the city takes place in keeping with the sanctioned plans. The increasing violation of building bylaws testifies to this fact with the MC hardly bothering to take action against the violators of building bylaws," he said.