SIT formed to probe ‘real estate mafia’ in Mohali

Ten days after registering cases against 48 builders for raising illegal colonies in Kharar and Balongi areas, Mohali senior superintendent of police (SSP) Satinder Singh on Monday constituted a special investigating team (SIT) under superintendent of police (rural) Ravjot Kaur Grewal to look into the matter
An illegal colony being demolished in Jhampur village of Mohali last week. (HT FILE)
An illegal colony being demolished in Jhampur village of Mohali last week. (HT FILE)
Published on Jul 27, 2021 02:09 AM IST
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By Hillary Victor, Mohali

Ten days after registering cases against 48 builders for raising illegal colonies in Kharar and Balongi areas, Mohali senior superintendent of police (SSP) Satinder Singh on Monday constituted a special investigating team (SIT) under superintendent of police (rural) Ravjot Kaur Grewal to look into the matter. Grewal is to submit a report within 15 days.

On July 11, Anandpur Sahib MP Manish Tewari had raised the issue of ‘real estate mafia’ in the district and assured that he would take up the matter with chief minister Amarinder Singh, following which Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) had swung into action and asked the SSP to register FIRs against erring builders.

On July 15, police had registered a case against 48 builders, who had developed unauthorised residential colonies at Jhampur, Badmajra and Behlolpur villages of Kharar area. The case was registered under Section 36(1) of the Punjab Apartment and Property Regulation Act (PAPRA). There are around 15 illegal colonies that have come up without the permission of GMADA. No change of land use (CLU) has been carried out here and most of these colonies have come up on agricultural land.

SSP Satinder Singh said, “We will not tolerate any illegal activity by any builder. We have formed a SIT, and on the basis of its report, strict action will be taken against the erring builders.”

Apart from Grewal, the SIT will have two DSPs — Manjeet Singh and Joginder Pal Singh—as its members.

While raising the issue with GMADA, MP Tewari said people are losing their hard-earned money to such builders.

A senior official of GMADA said, “We conduct anti-encroachment drives regularly and have demolished several structures. In most cases, it was found that the builders offer land at low rates, due to which people from low-income groups get interested in the scheme. They pay 5 to 7 lakh to the builder for a 100 square yard plot and build their houses on it, and ultimately get caught in the nexus.”

Committee was formed last year too

In October last year, Mohali deputy commissioner (DC) Girish Dayalan constituted a five-member committee to redress the grievances of the public against promoters/builders for non-provision of basic amenities. The committee was headed by Mohali additional deputy commissioner (general) and had a superintendent of police (designated by the SSP), GMADA additional chief administrator, and municipal commissioner/EOs as its members. The assistant commissioner (grievances) was the member secretary. The committee, however, could not meet due to the prevailing pandemic situation.

Stating that various real-estate projects of residential and commercial nature have come up over the last few years in the district, the DC urged residents to come forward and lodge complaints against erring builders.

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Monday, October 18, 2021