The UT Administration on Thursday ordered the demolition of one of the oldest colonies of Chandigarh, colony number 4. The decision has been taken in view of making Chandigarh a slum-free city.
The move comes as a jolt to over 40,000 people staying there. Recently, dwelling units at Maloya were constructed to relocate people from colony number 4 but as per a survey, only 2,400 people were eligible for it while there are over 7,000 families staying there, residents said.
In a letter written by the Assistant Estate Officer, UT Administration, to Secretary, Chandigarh Housing Board, accessed by Chandigarh Newsline, it was stated that residents are directed to remove their structures/belongings within 21 days from June 19. The period of 21-day notice will end on July 9, which means the demolition would be carried out then.
“All the residents of colony number 4 are directed to remove their belongings/structures from the site within a period of 21 days at their own expense and any person who fails to vacate colony during this time and on the date specified in this behalf shall be liable to be removed in accordance with the process of law,” the letter stated.
It was further mentioned that eligible residents of the colony have been allotted flats under Chandigarh Small Flats Scheme 2006 in Rehabilitation Colony, Maloya. “All the slum dwellers who have been allotted flats are directed to take immediate possession of their respective allotted flats from the Chandigarh Housing Board,” it was stated.
A resident of the colony and local leader, Shashi Shankar Tiwari, stated that this was unjust and they will hold protests. He said that the administration can’t demolish the colony because over 4,000 families were yet to be rehabilitated.
“In the first place, the survey they did in 2006 was faulty. As per that survey, only 2,400 families are eligible. The administration didn’t consider many of the families during the survey and where will those people go? They have been staying here for the last 30 to 40 years and seeing your house being demolished is so painful,” Tiwari told Chandigarh Newsline.
He added, “Unless the administration doesn’t give dwelling units to all the 7,000 families, we won’t go anywhere from here. We will come on the road and protest.”
However, the letter by the assistant estate officer stated, “If any resident of colony number 4 feels that his claim is pending due to non- submission of prescribed application form, that is he was covered in the biometric survey conducted by administration in the month of March 2006 but he could not submit his application form to the estate office due to various reasons, then he should approach the screening committee of the estate office.
The application form should be submitted with valid statutory documents as per the policy in support of their claim.” There are many residents who settled in the colony in the last 13 years. The colony has grown over time.