Tough time for civic bodies ahead of October 7 deadline | punjab | Hindustan Times
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Tough time for civic bodies ahead of October 7 deadline

Seeing the October 7 deadline of seeking regularisation of illegal colonies nearing, residents of Jalandhar and adjoining areas have started thronging the offices of Municipal Corporation (MC) and Jalandhar Development Authority (JDA). But, due to "shortage of staff and lack of planning", officials seem to have failed to stand the pace.

punjab Updated: Oct 02, 2013 19:26 IST
Sanjeev Bhalla

Seeing the October 7 deadline of seeking regularisation of illegal colonies nearing, residents of Jalandhar and adjoining areas have started thronging the offices of Municipal Corporation (MC) and Jalandhar Development Authority (JDA). But, due to "shortage of staff and lack of planning", officials seem to have failed to stand the pace.

Notices put up by the district administration, warning people of disconnecting water supply and electricity connections and even demolition of illegal structures, forced people mark their attendance.

A heavy rush at the MC and JDA offices on Wednesday was seen in the of when visited by HT and people were seen ruing for the lack of system.

"We are here with all the documents required but we are unable to locate the person receiving applications of our area. Every dealing person is so overcrowded with the public that he has no time to answer queries. There should be proper system for regularising the rush of people which was expected," said Parminder Singh, a Raj Nagar resident.

In MC jurisdiction there are 323 unapproved colonies while 433 such colonies are there in the jurisdiction of Jalandhar Development Authority covering the districts of Jalandhar, Hoshiarpur and Kapurthala with more than 75 thousands plots approximately.

The process of receiving applications under the modified policy was notified by the government on August 21 by giving 45 days time.

Till today, nearly 4500 applications were received in the office of MC and No Objection Certificate (NOC) was issued to only 1700 applicants.

"The time limit is not sufficient and it should be extended by at least two months more. Moreover, elaborate arrangements should be made to properly guide the illiterate plot holders in filling the forms and fulfilling the formalities so that they should not get entrapped in the mediators," said Deepak Kumar Passi, a local adding that, "instead of dealing heavy rush here, the MC should plan installing the camps in the unapproved colonies to get maximum benefits."

"We have received only 1043 applications so far from Kapurthala and Jalandhar districts till yesterday. But a heavy rush of applicants is there in our office today. We all are busy to provide convenient and friendly environment to the applicants despite of public holiday today," said.
Talking to HT, Mayor Sunil Jyoti said, "As the deadline is approaching near, we are expecting heavy turnaround in the rest of the days. We are deploying more staff to deal with the increasing public rush and to decrease the public inconvenience. The offices of MC would also be kept open on Saturday and Sunday."

Interestingly, none of the coloniser had applied for the approval of colony so far, MC sources said. While at JDA, the number of applications received at JDA is also negligible.

As per the policy, illegal colonies have been divided in three categories including where the total plots of more than 65% sold, 35% to 65% sold and less than 35% are sold.

In the category, where less than 35% of the plots are sold, as per the policy the colony developer is responsible to complete all the required internal developments works and liable to pay composition fee for getting the offense compounded apart from paying heavy amount of other charges.
Sources said to avoid such heavy charges, in this category, some incidents were noticed, where colonizers are indulging in make sale deed by using old dated stamp papers.


NOCs not recognised by PSPCL

The Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) authorities had been reportedly denying the issuance of electricity connection based on the NOCs issued by the Municipal Corporation.

"I am feeling ditched as the PSPCL did not consider my application for new connection due to non-availability of guidelines available with them. I have paid nearly 75000 to get my plot regularised," said Ajaib Singh.

Deputy chief engineer Gopal Sharma, when contacted said, "We have written the PSPCL headquarters to seek instructions in this regard. Till now, we are not granting new connections to the plot holders of unapproved colonies."


What people want

Proper Enquiry and Help desk in the offices to assist the applicants
Centralised receiving of applications
Establishment of cash collection centre
Extension of last date from October 7
Deployment of more staff for smoothening the system

Congress' Take

Congress spokesperson Nimisha Mehta had flayed the state government for harassing the urbanite people by imposing different types of levies. Further, there is no training provided to the staff engaged in collection of such taxes due to which common man is having tough times. "Earlier for Aadhaar enrolment, now for approval of unapproved colonies and in the coming days for property taxes, common man is seen standing in rows before government offices only. There is no proper system and the government is unduly putting pressure," she quipped.