UT admn may have to compensate encroachers in Sukhna Lake catchment
If it comes to conclusion that the UT administration failed to give wide publicity to its decision of demolition without notice, court may ask it to compensate ownerspunjab Updated: May 30, 2017 12:58 IST
Already facing flak from several quarters over its failure to take steps to save Sukhna Lake from drying up, Chandigarh administration may even end up compensating encroachers in the lake’s catchment area.
A Punjab and Haryana high court (HC) bench will examine whether the UT administration needs to be burdened with money spent on construction by those who raised structures after May 2012.
The bench of justice Rajan Gupta was responding on Friday to submissions by the amicus curiae (‘friend of the court’), advocate Rajdeep Singh Cheema, who said the administration failed to give wide publicity to the directions that such construction will be demolished without notice.
“In case this court comes to the conclusion that UT administration has failed to give wide publicity as directed by the court, it shall also consider whether the UT administration would be required to compensate if any person has raised construction after order dated May 14, 2012, was passed,” said the bench. As per the order, directions were issued to Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh to put their enforcement agencies in action to immediately stop illegal construction in the catchment area, as per the map of Survey of India.
The order was passed with a view to ensure that any person indulging in violation of the order passed by the court would become aware and situation of demolition of illegal construction would be avoided, advocate Cheema added.
Upon court’s observations and Cheema’s submissions, UT senior standing counsel Suvir Sehgal sought time to seek instructions from the administration on the issues raised.
The development took place during the hearing of a contempt petition filed by a city resident, who had alleged that construction activity was going on unabated despite court orders of May 2012.
Meanwhile, Punjab’s special secretary, local bodies, KK Yadav, who was present in the court, informed that a fresh survey had been conducted and about 80 illegal constructions identified. He said notice were issued to the persons concerned, and he promised action followed by a compliance report.
The matter will now be taken up on July 25.