Illegal structures within 100m of Chandigarh airport will be razed in 8 weeks, Punjab informs HC
Tentative figure of these structures is estimated to be 98, as per a 2019 survey; in March 2011, construction within the 100-metre periphery of Shaheed Bhagat Singh International airport was banned through a notification issued under the Works of Defence Act, 1903
The Punjab government on Thursday told the Punjab and Haryana high court that all illegal structures within 100 metres of the Shaheed Bhagat Singh International Airport in Mohali will be removed within eight weeks and a rehabilitation scheme for the displaced people will be in place within four weeks.
Tentative figure of these structures is estimated to be 98, as per a 2019 survey. In March 2011, construction within the 100-metre periphery of the airport was banned through a notification issued under the Works of Defence Act, 1903.
As such, all structures within the 100-metre radious are to go due to security reasons. The Indian Air Force (IAF) has termed illegal mushrooming of illegal structures in the area a threat to the airport.
The state’s advocate general, Vinod Ghai, submitted minutes of a meeting chaired by chief minister Bhagwant Mann on May 12, where it was decided that not only those whose construction was as per norms, but also those whose structures were illegal are to be compensated and rehabilitated.
“..the package must include proposal for rehabilitation of all residents affected as a result of the Works of Defence Act,” the minutes of meeting produced in high court on Thursday said.
As per 2019 proceedings of the high court, there are 314 structures falling within 100 metres of the airport in village Pabhat, under the Zirkapur municipal council.
A committee constituted under a high court order also identified 196 structures that were raised till August 20, 2008, and 20 more structures till March 9, 2011. It recorded that 98 of these structures were illegal, as they came up after 2011 and were to be demolished without any compensation.
As per the minutes of the meeting, the chief minister expressed his concern over removal of these structures, as it might cause severe hardship and inconvenience to residents. Hence, the CM directed that it was essential to provide relief to the affected residents before removal of the structures. The government has tasked the local government department to formulate a rehabilitation scheme in Zirakpur or Mohali in consultation with the department of housing and urban development, the minutes said.
This information was presented during the hearing of a plea pending in high court since 2015, pointing out infrastructural issues at the airport.
‘In-principle approval to shorter route given’
Meanwhile, Punjab also informed the high court that it had given in-principle approval to the Chandigarh administration’s proposal for a shorter route to the airport from near Sector 48. The new road will start from the T-point intersection of Vikas Marg (coming from Sector-43 ISBT) and Purv Marg (coming from Tribune Chowk). The current distance from this intersection to the airport is 11.5 km after traversing through Mohali. The shorter route will reduce this to around 3.5 km, thereby bringing the travel time down from 25 minutes to 5 minutes. A total of 56 acres needs to be acquired for the project of which 42 acres fall in Chandigarh and the remaining 14 acres in Punjab’s Jagatpura and Khandala villages.