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Policy to regularise 8,000 illegal colonies in Punjab gets cabinet approval

Even as it is being seen as a populist move, the government plans to earn revenue of at least Rs 3,500 crore by regularising these colonies and plots.

punjab Updated: Jul 31, 2018 10:00 IST
Gurpreet Singh Nibber
Gurpreet Singh Nibber
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
illegal colonies in Punjab,Punjab,punjab news
Of a total of 8,000 illegal colonies in the state, 4,500 are under the purview of the housing department while the rest are under the urban local bodies department. (HT File )

The Punjab cabinet on Monday cleared the policy to regularise nearly 8,000 illegal colonies in Punjab even as local bodies minister Navjot Singh Sidhu opposed the move saying it will turn the state’s cities into slums as more of such settlements will come up in future.

The decision was taken in a meeting chaired by chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh after a five-member cabinet sub-committee had presented the draft before the cabinet.

Of a total of 8,000 illegal colonies in the state, 4,500 are under the purview of the housing department while the rest are under the urban local bodies department.

In a communication to chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh on Saturday, Sidhu had said if the policy is cleared his department will not take responsibility for the development of these colonies.

Speaking to the media after the move was okayed, Punjab housing minister Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa, who had played a key role in the finalisation of the policy, said the entire cabinet reached a consensus on this.

Move was cleared, then recalled

Though the policy on this was cleared on March 19 but it was recalled due to some issues. Bajwa said the policy cleared on Monday covers illegal colonies developed till July 30, 2018.

Additional chief secretary (housing and urban development) Vini Mahajan said the process of regularisation will start immediately after the policy is notified (in a week’s time).

Even as it is being seen as a populist move, the government plans to earn revenue of at least Rs 3,500 crore by regularising these colonies and plots.

Bajwa said the colonies which have developed the entire area will be cleared on the ‘as-is-where-is’ basis and plots owners who purchased on power of attorney will have to get registered with the revenue department within three months. The developers will pay a composition fee of Rs 3 to Rs 20 lakh based on the size and structure of a colony. The old colonies will pay less.

The plot and house owners will have to pay development charges depending on the size of plot. They will have to pay 0.5% of collector rate for a plot measuring up to 50 square yards, 1% (51-100 square yards), 4% (101-249 square yards) and 6% for a plot measuring above 250 square yards.

As per the policy, any developer, resident welfare association (RWA) or cooperative society can apply for regularisation of an unauthorised colony. But in case of plots, compounding of colony is not mandatory for regularisation and their owners can apply directly.

Developers to be given four months

A developer will be given four months to apply for regularisation and then complete the process in three months. If a developer applies after the deadline, 20% of the regularisation fee will be imposed.

The proceedings in cases registered against the promoters of illegal colonies will be suspended after receiving 25% of composition charges and will be withdrawn once these settlements are fully regularised.

Land for PGI centre in Ferozepur

To provide better health and diagnostic facilities to people living in border areas, the cabinet allocated 25-acre land at Ferozerpur for setting up a 100-bedded PGIMER satellite centre.

The proposal for the satellite centre was placed before the governing body of the institute on June 28, an official spokesperson said. The institute had approved the proposal and decided that details of the project be prepared and submitted to the Centre, so that urgent medical services could be made started at the centre, he said.

Industrial policy Guidelines finalised

The cabinet finalised operational guidelines on industrial policy of the state government that it had rolled out in 2017. An official spokesman said the power tariff of Rs 5 per unit had been notified for all categories of industry; truck unions had been abolished and cluster development programmes for existing micro and small industries had been fast-tracked.

The state will set up four new industrial parks and 12 new industrial estates. Construction work on an Agri-Machinery Industrial Estate at Nabha is near completion and the facility was likely to be launched soon, the spokesperson added. Work on the development of a Hi-Tech cycle valley at Ludhiana is likely to start by October 2018.

The cycle valley will be a state-of-the-art facility for hi-tech cycles, electric-bikes and autos and for the auto component sector, including electric vehicles.

First Published: Jul 31, 2018 09:56 IST