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Home / Chandigarh / Widespread illegal structures in villages: Planning dept

Widespread illegal structures in villages: Planning dept

chandigarh Updated: Dec 12, 2019 00:59 IST
Munieshwer A Sagar
Munieshwer A Sagar
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
Hindustantimes
         

The UT urban planning department has flagged large-scale illegal construction and colonisation in villages of Chandigarh.

The department, in a letter dated December 2, has asked MC commissioner, deputy commissioner-cum-estate officer and land acquisition officer (LAO) to take immediate action to stop illegal construction.

“Illegal constructions are mushrooming against the notified Chandigarh Master Plan – 2031, which had strongly recommended for planned development of the peri-urban areas of Chandigarh,” reads the letter.

The letter says “serious consequences of these unauthorised and unplanned constructions are changing the character of planned development of Chandigarh”.

The department has also submitted a report along with the letter, which highlights with detailed Google maps the scale of encroachments and illegal constructions in the villages.

“Most city villages and semi-urban areas, which include Kishangarh-Manimajra, Hallomajra, Maloya, areas around Bapu Dham near Sukhna Choe, Khuda Ali Sher, Kaimbwala, etc have unauthorised constructions, which have taken the form of colonies in recent months with the land mafia becoming active. While earlier most of these constructions involved renting out spaces, sale of smaller plots has also come to light now,” said a senior UT official who didn’t want to be named.

“The comparison of Google maps over the past few years shows that unauthorised constructions picked up pace after the city’s villages were transferred to the municipal corporation in January this year,” said the official.

Significantly, the constructions are also in violation of the Punjab New Capital (Periphery) Control Act, 1952, which is applicable in areas outside a village’s inhabited area.

Too many stakeholders to blame

The official said, “Too many stakeholders – local politicians, landlords, tenants and home buyers — are involved in the expansion of illegal constructions. If the current pace of illegal colonisation continues unchecked, then no land will be left for implementing the provisions of the master plan. There is a real danger of hundreds of acres in villages coming under illegal constructions,” said the official.

The official said local land mafia is buying agriculture land chunks and converting these into constructed spaces to be rented out, or selling smaller-sized plots. “Most of this activity starts around the village sanctioned habitable area. Once the size is large enough, it becomes a colony and part of the village. Unplanned, unsafe and unhygienic settlements develop, nullifying the provisions of the master plan and, in some areas, the periphery act,” the official added.

Immediate action sought

The department has asked for immediate action in the matter so as to ensure planned development and good quality of life as envisaged in the master plan. However, the official said, “There is a concern that once the encroachment is large enough, it will not be allowed to be demolished due to the sheer number of people involved. We want to avoid such a situation.”

BOX 1

Villages under scanner

Kishangarh-Manimajra around IT Park road

Maloya

Hallomajra

Daria

Khuda Ali Sher

Kaimbwala

BOX2

How the mess builds up?

Three/four owners buy one acre land and divide it into parts outside the village inhabited area

Small rooms with brick walls, no plaster, metal doors, and paints come overnight

These rooms are rented out

Small plots ranging from five to six marla are sold, and construction takes place

The constructions slowly develop into a colony, and joins the existing sanctioned inhabited area

Agricultural land is being either sold off for residential purposes, or, after construction of single/double room semi-pucca houses, being rented

BLURB?INTRO OR GRAPHIC INTRO

The comparison of Google maps over the past few years shows that unauthorised constructions picked up pace after the city’s villages were transferred to the municipal corporation in January this year