SEEKING COMPLETE information from the UT Administration on the expenditure incurred on upkeep and maintenance of government accommodations across Chandigarh in the past five years, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has asked the Chief Architect to remain present in the court on December 20 to express his views on the court suggestion regarding the restructuring of government houses in Sector 22.
The chief architect has been asked by a single bench of the High Court to examine whether the first row of houses — which face the main market up to the east side of Kiran Cinema — in Sector 22 “should be inverted, altered or designed in such a way that the commodious backyard of the existing houses become the front yard…”. The suggestion has been made with a view to reducing the traffic on the main road.
The single bench headed by Justice Rajiv Narian Raina has further suggested to the Chief Architect whether it is “better still to demolish all of them and convert them into multilevel parking for more beneficial use of market users and the shopkeepers”. The court is hearing a suo motu case related to government accommodations in Chandigarh and has enlarged the scope of a petition filed by a High Court employee on the condition of his official accommodation in Sector 24.
While the Chief Architect has been asked to look into the feasibility of the directions and express his ideas before the court on next date of hearing, the information related to the upkeep and maintenance of the government accommodations is to be submitted by the UT Administration with type-wise data for the last five years. The administration has also been asked to respond to the court suggestion of considering the feasibility of awarding the contract to a single reputed firm or company for the upkeep of around 13,800 government houses in Chandigarh.
The High Court has asked the authorities to look into a complaint of a senior officer of High Court who has alleged that the work of whitewashing at his accommodation in Sector 7 was stopped midway and no one came to continue the work despite repeated calls to the contractor and work inspector.
The single bench has directed the authorities to stop the payment to the contractor in case the allegations are found to be true. The officer of the court has also been asked to furnish his bills for reimbursement after verification. He had to spend money from his own pocket after the repair work at his allotted accommodation was stopped after two days.
The recently appointed senior standing counsel has also been asked to get acquainted with the case and the previous interim orders and directions for proper assistance of the court. Advocate Jaivir Chandail has been asked to brief the senior counsel.