The arbitrary manner in which the UT Estate Office is sealing commercial and industrial buildings, only to reopen these after some time, has left the owners angry.
Officials descend early in the morning, with no prior notice, and seal the buildings. The owners get to know only after the sealing has been done. However, the buildings are re-opened after seeking affidavits from the owners that they would remove the violations.
Deputy Commissioner Mohammad Shayin defended the practice, saying that owners did not take notices seriously, but removed violations after the buildings were sealed. In the past few days, the Estate Office has sealed more than 10 buildings. It started with four buildings sealed in a single day, including two hotels, a lounge and a cloth shop. These were subsequently opened, after telling the owners about the violations. The two buildings sealed in Industrial Area recently were re-opened a day later.
Of the five booths at Krishna Market in Sector 41 that were sealed, one has been opened and a decision on the remaining is likely on Monday.
What has infuriated the industrial and trading community is that while officials turn a blind eye to violations in government buildings, private buildings are being targeted.
Naveen Manglani, vice-president of the Chamber of Chandigarh Industries, said, “Notices should be sent to the owners of buildings before sealing, but they are told about the violations after the sealing. There is a need for making a change in the rules with time. No action is taken against government buildings that violate rules.”
J P S Kalra, general secretary of Traders’ Association, Sector 17, said, “Sealing is attacking the livelihood of the owner as well as those working in the unit. The bylaws need to be reviewed and some internal changes allowed.” The sealing spree had started after the DC found violations in buildings the plans for which were sent to him for approval by the SDO (Buildings). The DC got independent inspection done and after finding violations gave orders for sealing.