Astrologer advises east-facing entrance, so Punjab minister builds illegal road
When Punjab technical education minister Charanjit Channi was advised an east-facing entry to his official residence for an auspicious tenure, he simply encroached into the green belt outside his house and built a road using interlocking tiles.
The minister’s official residence, house no. 46 in Sector 2, Chandigarh, is next to the official residence of Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh.
Channi has been occupying the house, considered a prized possession given its proximity to the CM’s residence, for the past one year ever since he was made the leader of opposition during the Parkash Singh Badal government’s tenure.
The entry to this house comes after crossing the other houses of other ministers of Punjab and Haryana in the lane.
It is learnt that when Channi’s men were building the stretch last week, Chandigarh Police cited security concerns to the chief minister’s residence. They even alerted Chandigarh Municipal Corporation officials to act.
A Chandigarh MC official said a team from the corporation acted on the police complaint and stopped the construction besides confiscating the building material.
“But the same night, the minister’s men again built the road along the wall of the CM’s residence,” the official said, requesting anonymity.
“When the minister’s staff were told that they can’t build a road there, they said the minister would get permission from the CM,” the official said.
The sub divisional officer, building and roads wing, of the civic body, Anurag Bishnoi, said the complaint has been sent to the horticulture department.
During the SAD-BJP government’s tenure as well, attempts were made to build a road through the park by a high-profile minister whose residence was located in the lane but the civic body had objected to it.
Sources said an astrologer had advised Channi to have direct access to his house from the east. Channi is looking forward to get a significant portfolio in the next Cabinet reshuffle.
His brother and retired chief engineer from the panchayati raj department, Manmohan Singh, the sources said, arranged the labour from the family’s interlocking tiles factory near Chandigarh.
Sources said Manmohan was also using his links in the Chandigarh civic body to go easy on the violation.
When contacted, Channi denied committing any violation. “It’s a road for public use. Since the road to the house was taken into the CM residence way back, there was no direct connect to this house from the main road. I’ve not got any notice from the civic body. This is a non-issue,” he said.