No consensus on developing UT suburb irks HC

Delay in allowing construction in regulated manner can be fatal,says court

Written by RAGHAV OHRI | Chandigarh | Published: August 29, 2013 1:38 am

The Punjab and Haryana High Court has expressed its strong disapproval over the ‘inability’ of Chandigarh and its neighbours,Punjab and Haryana to find a solution as to how ‘development must take place’ in the periphery of Chandigarh especially Kansal.

That there are ‘competing interests’ and ‘unwillingness’ to come to a common decision,the High Court has observed that this ‘unwillingness’ has resulted in a ‘spate of litigations’. This has been observed by a division bench comprising Chief Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice Augustine George Masih while clearing decks for the Tata Camelot Housing Project.

A copy of the order,passed last week,was made available on Wednesday. The High Court has expressed serious concern over the haphazard development in the periphery of city beautiful and the illegal constructions which have come up in the Sukhna catchment area.

“One unfortunate aspect we must note is the inability of Punjab,Haryana and Chandigarh to sit together and sort out as to how the development must take place in the whole area. There appears to be competing interests and unwillingness to come to a common decision. This has resulted in spate of litigations and in the sense the earlier petition as well as the present petition is the consequence of this larger problem”,reads the order.

Last week,the High Court had lifted stay on the construction of the housing project,which falls in the catchment area,after obtaining all requisite permissions and clearances from the Centre and state. The HC,however,did not vacate stay on construction by any other party in the catchment area and it will be allowed till further orders. A stay on any kind of construction in the catchment area was ordered on March 14,2011.

The ground taken by the Tata Housing lawyer was that the dispute over Camelot project already stands settled by a division bench of the HC last year.

Referring to the Tata Housing project,the HC ruled,“When a project of this nature is envisaged there is element of planning and capital cost which goes to it. There would also be an issue of booking of such flats if that has taken place which in turn would entail investment for third parties. No doubt,the project would be required to satisfy all parameters of permission,as may be required,but prolonged delay can be fatal in such situations”.

Referring to the judgment in which dispute on Tata Housing project was decided,the High Court has held ‘the question whether the housing colony violated the edict of Chandigarh was also dealt with once again emphasising that a more rigorous regulated development was a need of the hour’.

Tata Housing Project was to be Tricity’s first skyscraper with 1,500-1,700 high-end flats spread over 53 acres. Of this,21.2 acres were for the MLAs’ society,28.7 acres for the Defence Services Self-Supporting Society and the rest for another private party. The high profile-members include Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Badal,Union Minister Preneet Kaur,both the sitting and former Speakers,ministers,former ministers,MLAs and former MLAs.

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