Shirts off, roses in hand, Ludhiana residents seek colony regularisation

  • HT Correspondent, Ludhiana
  • Updated: Feb 04, 2016 20:20 IST
Taking off their clothes as mark of the protest, residents of Bawa Colony presenting flowers to a municipal corporation official in Ludhiana on Thursday. (Sikander Singh Chopra/HT)

Residents of Bawa Colony protested on Thursday outside the municipal corporation’s (MC) Zone ‘A’ office by taking off their shirts and pants, demanding regularisation of the colony and registration of an FIR against the builder.

They alleged that they were hoodwinked by the builder, who said the colony was authorised. Development charges were paid to the builder, they added.

They also accused the MC of not taking any action.

The residents alleged that the builder had sold them houses by claiming that the colony is authorised and development charges were paid to the MC.

Protesters alleged that the staff of the building branch was hand in gloves with the builder concerned.

Before staging the protest, the residents of the Bawa Colony during a press conference at the Circuit House accused the builder of cheating. They alleged that the builder had cheated them.

The residents claimed that the builder had constructed around 180 houses at Bawa Colony, Baloke Road, Haibowal in 2003. He had claimed that the colony is authorised and the houses were constructed as per the approved map. The builder had also informed them the development charges were submitted, they claimed.

General secretary of Bawa Colony Welfare Society, Rohit Sikka, said, “I had filed an RTI application in 2010, while the MC provided some information that the development charges of only few houses were received. In 2011, assistant town planner SS Bindra ordered the demolition drive in the area without issuing any notice. When the residents had staged a protest, municipal town planner Hemant Batra and builder PS Bawa had visited the spot”.

“The builder gave a cheque of `15 lakh and assured the MC to pay the remaining amount. However, the MC officials concerned did not inform us about the paid amount by the builder. Later, we got to know that the cheque given by the builder had bounced, but the MC had not taken any action against the builder,” he said.

He alleged, “When the MC had not provided all required information under the RTI, the matter had reached to state information commission (SIC). The SIC commissioner had also directed the authorities concerned to lodge an FIR against the builder concerned”.

The residents also raised questions over the role of the assistant town planner (ATP) SS Bindra and other staff regarding this matter. They also claimed that if the houses were being constructed in unauthorised manner, where were the MC officials?

ATP Bindra claimed that the case regarding bounced cheque is already pending in the local court. However, he denied allegations of being in cahoots with the builder concerned.

He said that he had been transferred and he was not aware about any order to lodge FIR against the builder concerned.

The protesters gave a memorandum to additional commissioner Ghanshyam Thori.

MC commissioner GK Singh Dhaliwal could not be contacted for comment.

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