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Illegal colonies: 8 building branch officials suspended in Jalandhar

Navjot Singh Sidhu said the state government is all set to bring one-time settlement regularisation policy for the buildings and colonies.

punjab Updated: Jun 15, 2018 13:32 IST
Harvinder Kaur
Harvinder Kaur
Hindustan Times, Jalandhar
Illegal colonies,Local bodies minister,illegal buildings
Local bodies minister Navjot Singh Sidhu along with Jalandhar cantonment MLA Pargat Singh (second from left) addressing the media in Jalandhar on Thursday. (HT Photo)

Local bodies minister Navjot Singh Sidhu cracked the whip on illegal colonies and suspended at least eight officials of the building branch, during a surprise visit in Jalandhar on Thursday. Two senior town planners (STPs) and one municipal town planner were also among the eight officials, who were suspended for negligence in carrying out their duties.

Sidhu, accompanied by local bodies director Karnesh Sharma, municipal commissioner Basant Garg, buildings branch officials, additional commissioner Vishesh Sarangal and Jalandhar cantonment MLA Pargat Singh had visited several illegal colonies and ordered immediate action.

During his day-long inspection, the minister inspected over 35 illegal buildings and colonies including WJ Grand Hotel, Deol Nagar, Virasat Punjabi Haveli in Master Tara Singh Nagar, Jassal Complex in Dhilwan road. Some famous restaurants in Model Town area like Brew Master, Heat 7, Blue Fox were ordered for sealing.

Sidhu also visited MC Jalandhar and later addressed a press conference at Gulmohar City colony at Lama Pind Chowk, where illegal construction has been going on in the area spread in around 8 to 10 acres without any change of land use (CLU). The CLU fee from this area would have given MC a revenue of about ₹6 crore.

Sidhu said the state government is all set to bring one-time settlement regularisation policy for the buildings and colonies.

“I was reading the ruling of the apex court on razing the illegal construction of hostels in Kasauli where it noted that until and unless a few of the officers do not lose their service, the law cannot be strictly implemented,” Sidhu said.

Sidhu said all the 93 illegal buildings listed will be demolished. In April this year, deputy mayor Harsimranjit Singh Bunty had provided the list of as many as 298 illegal buildings to the local bodies minister and requested action against them.

“Nobody is above law. We are immediately filing a charge sheet against 10 officials of the buildings branch. Though they will be given a chance for personal hearing, I will request their dismissal for carrying out blatant violations. I will not tolerate such acts in my department at any cost,” he said.

The minister said the department will file first information report (FIR) against all the officials under section 120 (B) in the Indian Penal Code (criminal conspiracy and criminal breach of trust) and charge sheet will be filed under rule 8 of the Municipal Corporation Act 1976 for corrupt practices. The assets of these officers would be probed. On finding any discrepancy, they will be attached.

Rolling out the plan to check the illegal buildings in future, Sidhu said the entire city has been divided into zones and officers have allotted sectors to ensure that no illegal building mushrooms up in the city. The minister further informed that in the next three months, 500 new officers will be recruited in the department to check the construction of illegal buildings and colonies.

Suspended officials

The eight officials who have been suspended and who will be issued a charge sheet include senior town planners (STPs) Parampal Singh ans Monica Anand, municipal town planner (MTP) Meharban Singh, assistant town planner (ATP) Naresh Mehta, Balvinder Singh, building inspectors Neeraj Sharma, Pooja Mann, Ajit Sharma have been suspended.

First Published: Jun 15, 2018 13:32 IST