AFTER RAISING the alarm about illegal constructions outside lal dora at Khuda Alisher village and issuing notice to the encroachers, some of them high-profile city personalities, a few months ago, the Chandigarh Estate Office has now gone silent on the issue.
The estate office on June 6 had issued notices, based on a survey report, to the father of then UT assistant estate officer (AEO) Prince Dhawan, local Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) chief Sanjay Tandon and around 100 other residents of the area.
The estate office had announced that the structures would be pulled down on August 5. But it put off the demolition citing unavailability of required police force. The authorities had taken a plea that the police force was occupied with preparations and security arrangements for the Independence Day on August 15.
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A day before the drive was to take place, on August 4, delegations of Congress and BJP met UT Deputy Commissioner Ajit Balaji Joshi asking him not to carry out the demolition. The Congress also threatened to hold a massive protest against the drive.
Talking to Chandigarh Newsline, Tandon said that he stopped construction on his plot after receiving the notice. “I have not received any other communication from the estate office,” he said, adding that he had constructed a room on his plot measuring 1.5 acres. Despite repeated attempts, K K Dhawan, father of Prince Dhawan was not available for comment. When contacted, Prince Dhawan said that his father had given representations to the DC after getting the notice.
Senior BJP leader Rambir Bhatti, who was part of the delegation which met DC on August 4, claimed that the drive was deferred after the residents of the area assured the deputy commissioner of not making fresh construction outside lal dora.
When contacted, Joshi said: “In the last one month, the required police force was not available. They were first busy with security arrangements for Independence Day and then for Assembly sessions of Haryana and Punjab,” said Joshi.
He said that they would soon fix the date for removing the illegal consturctions outside the lal dora.
The term lal dora refers to the village land that can be used for non-agricultural purpose only or for support systems like livestock. 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.
The BJP is in favour of regularising construction outside lal dora and local member of parliament has also taken up the issue with the Chandigarh Administration and Union Home Ministry.