Residents vow to fight HC order on demolitions in Sukhna catchment areaUpdated: Mar 09, 2020 00:03 IST
A week after the Punjab and Haryana high court ordered demolition of all constructions in the catchment area of Sukhna Lake, more than 2,500 residents of affected areas held a meeting in Kansal on Sunday and decided to fight the orders.
Calling it a “cold-hearted” judgment, Kansal residents’ welfare association president HS Oberoi said: “Does the court has any idea where the residents will go if their houses are demolished? We will fight this decision.”
Political leaders and lawyers, too, extended support to the residents.
It was on Monday that the HC slapped a fine of ₹100 crore each on Punjab and Haryana for causing damage to the catchment area of Sukhna Lake and ordered demolition of all structures in its catchment area that were demarcated by the Survey of India in 2004. The court also ordered the two governments and UT administration to relocate owners whose building plans have already been approved and pay them ₹25 lakh compensation each.
Demolition would have to be carried out in Nayagaon and Kansal in Mohali, portions of Kaimbwala in Chandigarh and portions of Saketri village and Sector 1, Mansa Devi Complex, in Panchkula. As per conservative estimates, in Kansal area alone, 2,000 families will be affected.
Gaurav Aggarwal, ex-president of Sukhna Enclave Resident Welfare Association, Kansal, said constructions in the area have not been obstructing water flow into the lake. “The major reason behind the lake’s depleting water level is the failure to carry out its desilting for the past five years. It is wrong to put the blame on residents,” he said.
Tripta Rani, another Kansal resident, said: “We have spent our life earnings in constructing our houses. How can the court decide to demolish them. They must kill us before demolishing our dream homes.” Another resident, Asha Kaul, said they have taken huge loans to build the homes, and ₹25 lakh compesantion is not enough.
Kharar MLA Kanwar Sandhu, who too attended the meeting, said it was high time to unite. “Earlier, we had to fight the case individually. But now lets fight everyone’s fight,” he said.
Sandhu said that as per the Nayagaon Master Plan 2011, Kansal has been described as a residential area. “We also have the municipal Act, which means it comes under the Nayagaon civic body. No other body can interfere,” he said.
Congress leader Jagmohan Singh Kang said the Punjab government was making all efforts to fight this HC order. “I had a meeting with Punjab local bodies minister. They are examining the situation and may approach the Supreme Court,” he said. “Our government wouldn’t let anyone’s house get razed.”
Kansal councillor Iqbal Singh Saini said the meeting was organised to create awareness among all affected residents and give them a common platform to fight the case.
DPS Randhawa, president, Punjab and Haryana High Court Bar Association, said: “We will provide all the support to residents. They must constitute a committee of lawyers who will fight this case legally.”