The Punjab and Haryana high court has sought response from the Punjab government on a petition challenging its May 2016 notification whereby the state had asked private builders to transfer the land meant for constructing houses for economically weaker sections (EWS) in their projects to the government.
Satnam Singh of Rupnagar had alleged that the notification was in violation of the Punjab Apartment Property Regulation Act, 1995, and was issued to help builders.
In the notification, the government had diluted the builders’ obligation to construct 10% flats for the EWS category in their projects and the land meant for housing for the poor be transferred to the government.
The government would have the option either to develop the land for housing for the EWS or could use it for housing or commercial purposes for the general public, the petition says.
Action against developers sought
The petitioner also sought action against developers for non-compliance of provisions of the Act as the builders had committed an act of “deceit and cheating” by selling economically weaker section flats in the general pool.
They have caused for unlawful gains and resulted in aggravating the problem housing for poor, the court was told.
The 1995 Act provides for 10% reservation to the EWS in housing projects and apartments if the residential units are 100 or more or where the area of a colony is 40 hectares.
“Builders cheated people by selling flats meant for the EWS category. But it is not private builders who are exploiting the people, even the state is also marching on same road,” advocates RS Bains and Loveneet Thakur had submitted referring to May 2016 notification.
The court was told that despite several complaints, the government came to the rescue of builders by way of the 2016 notification.