State’s Local Government Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu said Thursday he had prepared a cabinet note proposing one-time policy of regularisation of illegal buildings on “as is where is basis”. Sidhu said while a decision would be taken by Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh, he had proposed that the government take a lenient view to regularise a building, after receiving requisite charges, if it did not involve a blatant violation.
The minister, however, said building bylaws would to be adhered to strictly by in any future construction. “Persons violating the law [after one-time policy is implemented] will be dealt with severely,” Sidhu said at a press conference. He said officials who failed to supervise and stop construction of illegal buildings would face suspension and even dismissal.
The minister said his department had found several illegal buildings, mostly commercial, in Amritsar, Jalandhar, Ludhiana, Patiala and Bathinda. “This is a big cause of concern. As a welfare state, one person cannot be allowed to violate law and cause inconvenience to the larger public. For example, parking space is converted into office and vehicles are then parked along the road. This causes a traffic problem. For the last 10 years, no one has taken note of this,” Sidhu said. “Law might be sleeping, but it’s not dead.”