Aftermath of PG blaze:No check on 80 flagged PGs in Sector 63
Sent a list of unregistered facilities three months ago, says RWA
Despite the administration’s claims of cracking down on unregistered paying guest facilities, Sector-63 residents have alleged that no action was taken against 80 such accommodations in Chandigarh Housing Board apartments, a list of which was sent to the authorities.
Resident Welfare Association (RWA) president Harpreet Singh Grewal said, “In May 2019, the Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB) had asked us for a list of unregistered paying guest facilities (PGs). We sent a list of around 80 such accommodations three months ago, yet no action has been taken.”
“The RWA had also followed up with CHB officials and the Chandigarh Police, yet the listed PGs continue to operate unchecked. It is unfortunate that authorities only swing into action after a tragedy, such as the blaze in Sector 32, takes place,” Grewal said.
The association’s joint secretary Rakesh Monga said, “There has been no check on PGs in this sector. Numerous unregistered PGs have mushroomed in the 3,000 odd CHB apartments. Many people living in these PGs are ill-behaved. They consume alcohol and play loud music late at night. Whenever called, police officials take far too long to reach and are ineffective in enforcing discipline.”
“Sector 63 used to be a relatively quiet place but now crime is on the rise here thanks to the numerous PGs that have come up in the area. On December 6, 2019, four armed men broke into immigration agent Anil Sood’s house and decamped with ₹3.5 lakh. The perpetrators are still at large,” said Grewal.
Rules state that PGs can only be built in houses with an area of around 10 marlas, the limit was later reduced to 7.5 marlas. However, CHB apartments stand over less than five marlas. The rules also specify that owners of PG accommodations must live within the premises but this is not the case in many establishments.
CHB chief executive officer Yashpal Garg said, “A survey to identify unregistered PGs in CHB houses is being conducted throughout the city. I will ask officials to check the houses mentioned on the list provided by RWA.”
Owners of illegal PG accommodations and those running them can be booked under Section 188 (disobedience to an order promulgated by a public servant) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). Senior superintendent of police (SSP) Nilambari Jagdale said, “In such cases, action should be taken by the civil administration. The police will follow suit in whatever course of action is taken by them. “