Tricity residents irked over political party offices in their neighbourhood

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
  • Updated: Aug 16, 2016 12:48 IST
Haryana Pradesh Congress Committee office at Sector 9 in Chandigarh. (Karun Sharma/HT Photo)

There is an old saying that even if you don’t do politics, ‘politics’ will be done to you. Across the tricity, residents in localities — where political parties have set up offices — are bearing the burden of this truism.

With no clear policy in place, residents have genuine grievances to air. The top of the list is being forced to put up inadequate parking, security hassles — especially pronounced — whenever a big leader comes calling, the nuisance of rallies and noise pollution that disturbs studies of children and sleep of senior citizens.

In Chandigarh, the issue flared up only recently when residents of Sector 35-A complained to UT deputy commissioner Ajit Balaji Joshi on the inconvenience caused due to the office of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in their area. AAP functionaries claim that Sector-35 office was not a party office. They add that only a couple of workers with the media cell used the property to file reports.

Residents claimed that due to the office, narrow lanes leading to their houses remained congested due to disorderly parking by visitors to the office or the workers themselves.

Another resident claimed that the situation became horrible whenever the outdoor broadcast (OB) vans of news channels descend in the area. Sector-9 residents echo similar concerns with the Haryana Pradesh Congress Committee office in their midst. The office has been around for more than three decades.

Arun Sharma, a Sector 9 resident, said, “Parking is a major hassle due to the office. Security is also compromised as anti-social elements mix in the crowd.”

Residents of Sector-21 are also not happy with another party’s office holding political activities from a house in the sector.

BJP office in P’kula Sector 2 likely to shift

Bharatiya Janata Party office at Sector 2 in Panchkula. (Sant Arora/HT Photo)

Panchkula: Haryana state BJP office in Panchkula is running from a Sector-2 House. Since the party has assumed power, the office has become busier, leading to traffic congestion and nuisance.

Under Haryana Urban Development Authority (Huda) rules, political parties cannot have office in a residential building. The allotment letter stipulates the purpose of allotment. Non-nuisance professional consultancy is allowed which means an activity carried on by an individual by his personal skill and intelligence. This includes-doctors (without nursing home), lawyers, tax consultants, architects (without studio), contractor consultants, chartered accountants, property consultants and tourist guides.

A neighbour commented, “They do not use any loudspeakers, but parking has emerged as a major issue.”

Sometime ago, HUDA had floated plots for political parties to set up offices.

“No one gives space to political parties on rent. The BJP had purchased this building in 1996. Both state and district unit are running from here,” said Vikas Paul, district BJP spokesperson.

“Looking at the inconvenience to residents, we will shift to the commercial areas soon,” said Sanjay Ahuja, OSD to state BJP president Subhash Barala.

SAD office working quietly, action only after plaint

Shiromani Akali Dal’s office at Phase 3-B1 in SAS Nagar. (Karun Sharma/HT Photo)

SAS Nagar: The Shiromani Akali Dal has an office in Phase 3B1. The rules of house allotment bar any commercial activity from residential premises. However, there is no bar on running offices if there is no nuisance for neighbours. “It is only in case of complaint that some action can be taken,” said a GMADA official.

“There is an open area opposite the office that is used for parking to ensure residents are not inconvenienced,” said Paramjit Singh Kaloh president, SAD district unit.

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