Deep Complex in Hallomajra have been at receiving end since the area has been deprived of basic amenities like sewerage, storm-water disposal system and drinking water for the last 40 years. Now, Deep Complex Welfare Association has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi urging him to review the Punjab New Capital Periphery Control Act (1952) and regularisation of houses outside lal dora in Chandigarh villages.
The term lal dora refers to village land that can be used for non-agricultural purposes only or for support systems like livestock.
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BS Rawat, resident of Deep Complex, stated that in 1992 the Chandigarh Administration had constituted a high-level committee to examine the issue pertaining to lal dora, but nothing has been done in the past 23 years .
He further stated that the villages in Chandigarh are no longer rural in character . Their problem of dense overpopulation, hazardous growth without commensurate services, inadequate realisation of their economic and social potential and encroachments, require municipal and not panchayat solutions.
According to the data of the UT Department of Rural Development and Panchayats, of the total area of 6,334 acres of villages in the jurisdiction of the Chandigarh Administration, unauthorised construction beyond lal dora is to the tune of 254 acres. In the last one year, the estate office has issued around 610 notices for illegal construction outside lal dora in different villages.
There are a total of 22 villages in Chandigarh, of which nine are under the civic body’s limits. All 13 villages are located within 8-km radius of the city with a population of over 50,000. In the absence of building bylaws for villages, there has been no check on the haphazard urbanisation and development in rural areas.
A rise in unsafe and unregulated construction has been seen in these villages.
The administration had framed draft bylaws in 2013 which are yet to be notified.
The BJP is in favour of regularising construction outside lal dora and a local MP has also taken up the issue with the Chandigarh Administration and the Union Home Ministry.