In a major crackdown against illegal builders, the Balongi police Wednesday booked 48 people who had developed unauthorised residential colonies at Jhampur, Badmajra and Behlolpur villages.
The case was registered after the Additional Chief Administrator (ACA), Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA), wrote a letter to the Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) for taking action against the erring builders.
According to police officials, the case was registered under sections 36(1) of the Punjab Apartment and Property Regulation Act (PAPRA) against a total of 48 people who had illegally carved out residential colonies at Jhampur, Behlolpur and Badmajra villages.
“There are 15 colonies coming up illegally in these villages. The colonies were carved out of the agricultural land and the builders did not take permission for change of land use (CLU) from GMADA. The colonies could not be carved out in this area,” a GMADA officer added.
The GMADA had removed around 400 illegal structures in this area in the last six months during the special drive which was halted due to the second wave of COVID-19.
The builders were targeting the lower income groups by offering plots at cheap rates. The builders were offering 100 square yard plot for Rs 5 to 7 lakh. Many people had invested in the area and bought the plots at cheaper rates. Several people had also built structures in these colonies, most of which were removed by GMADA during the drive.
A GMADA officer said on condition of anonymity that their teams would raze the illegal structures but builders would again allow people to build them, but this time they wanted strict legal action.
On Sunday, Anandpur Sahib MP Manish Tiwari had raised the issue of ‘real estate mafia’ in the district and assured that he would take up the issue with Chief Minister Amarinder Singh.
According to the police officials, they received information through GMADA letters that 12 illegal colonies had come up at Jhampur village, two at Behlolpur village and one at Badmajra village. The villages are located in the peripheral area of Mohali and Chandigarh.
An officer of the Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) told The Indian Express that they could not deny power connection to anyone. It was the duty of GMADA to check whether the colony is legal.