Chandigarh: Alternative land rights on anvil for moving occupants of unauthorised constructions
In order to remove unauthorised constructions in Chandigarh villages, the UT administration is considering giving alternative land development rights to people living in such constructions.
Stating that the situation in city’s villages are too complicated because of large-scale illegal constructions, and limitations imposed by the Chandigarh Master Plan (CMP), UT adviser Dharam Pal, said, “As per the CMP, we cannot have constructions in green zones. So, we will have to remove all illegal constructions on such land.”
For removing such unauthorised constructions, the administration is exploring different options under the proposed land-pooling policy. On Wednesday, the adviser held a high-level meeting on the issue.
In the meeting, the final contours of the policy were discussed and Pal directed officials to formulate a draft proposal and put in the public domain for taking their suggestions.
“One of the options under the land-pooling policy is to give alternative land development rights for people to move to other locations. This will allow us to give alternative housing options to them. This will also allow us to remove all unauthorised constructions in villages,” said Pal.
But the road ahead for land pooling policy is not going to be an easy one. “In neighbouring Punjab and Haryana, where large tracts of contiguous lands are available, it is much easier to implement a land-pooling policy. But in UT, there are a lot of haphazard constructions within lal dora and outside it,” said Pal.
Also, administration cannot go against the master plan. “Other option is bringing amendments in master plan, which will be a very lengthy and time-consuming process,” added Pal.
Notably, the Punjab New Capital Periphery Control Act also restricts constructions in the periphery of around 16km (controlled area) of the city. Punjab and Haryana high court too has imposed restrictions on construction for protection of Sukhna Catchment Area within which many of city’s villages are located.
For overcoming such challenges, the administration is now planning to introduce the land-pooling policy in phases. As per the current administration’s thinking, the policy will be first introduced in villages, and if successful then it will be implemented parallelly in other villages too.
The regularisation of the illegal construction and extension of the lal dora has been a long-standing demand of village residents, which has found strong support among all political parties.
The administration has earlier ruled out extension of the lal dora, but is exploring ways to develop villages so that these constructions can be removed and alternatives be given to people living in these constructions.
For this purpose, along with land-pooling policy, the administration has also started working on comprehensive village development plan as mandated by the CMP.
The administration has roped in the Indian Institute of Human Settlement (IISH), Bengaluru, to formulate a land pooling and aggregation policy.