Supernatural power saving you: HC to illegal structures owners near Chandigarh airport

The residents of Pabhat village failed to get relief from the Punjab and Haryana high court (HC), which categorically told the residents on Tuesday that the 98 structures falling within the 100 metre radius of the Chandigarh International Airport, which were ordered to be demolished, were constructed after a notification banning the same.
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Updated on Mar 04, 2020 01:08 AM IST
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Hindustan Times, Chandigarh | ByHT Correspondent, Chandigarh

The residents of Pabhat village failed to get relief from the Punjab and Haryana high court (HC), which categorically told the residents on Tuesday that the 98 structures falling within the 100 metre radius of the Chandigarh International Airport, which were ordered to be demolished, were constructed after a notification banning the same.

The HC bench of justice RS Jha and justice Arun Palli was hearing petitions by the building owners whose houses were ordered to be demolished by high court in August 2019. “You say Punjab government is not helping you. .. but even then demolition is not being carried out by them. If government is not with you, some supernatural power is (and saving from demolition),” the bench observed adding that despite the four months’ time given in August 2019, Punjab has only been able to demolish 12 structures so far.

These structures came up after March 2011, when the construction in the 100 metre periphery was banned through a notification. The notification was issued under the Works of Defence Act, 1903, asking residents not to carry out fresh construction in the 100 metre area. These structures were identified by a committee headed by Punjab chief secretary and constituted on the directions of the high court. The Air Force had termed the illegal mushrooming of such structures a threat to the airport, which prompted the court to direct demolition. In the plea, the building owners were demanding a stay on demolition arguing that they were not aware of the notification.

The court observed that it was a matter of national security and that it can’t set aside its own order, and the remedy lies with the Supreme Court.

Meanwhile, the Punjab government and Zirakpur municipal council again resorted to a blame-game over providing security to staff members who had to carry out demolition. While the MC’s counsel said that security was not provided, which resulted in delay of implementation of the HC order, the Punjab government counsel said that there was no reason for not providing security. “All illegal structures will be demolished. Buildings are inter-connected. We need some time to demolish them. But we will demolish all the buildings,” the Punjab government counsel said.

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Tuesday, December 07, 2021