With eye on elections,SAD gives breather to violators on NH-1

Residents and shopkeepers along the National Highway-1 scheduled roads can heave a sigh of relief as no action will be taken against any construction done before March 1996...

Written by Raakhi Jagga | Ludhiana | Published: February 1, 2009 12:13:45 am

Residents and shopkeepers along the National Highway-1 scheduled roads can heave a sigh of relief as no action will be taken against any construction done before March 1996 as the building bylaws were framed after March 22,1996.

However,the buildings that have been constructed after that will have to be demolished,if notices have been issued to the owners.

This was clarified by Chief Parliamentary Secretary Harish Rai Dhanda with a view to reduce panic among the people. However,he has also given a lifeline to the violators who have constructed buildings after March 1996 by saying that “they need to be given a proper hearing and demolitions cannot be carried out till no standing orders are passed.”

Dhanda said,“I don’t think there are many constructions after 1996,but the town planning wing of the MC will check the list and if there are any violations,action will be taken against them.”

However,according to an order of the High Court,100 metres of area on either side of the road from Sherpur Chowk to Jalandhar bypass on the national highway comes under a no-construction zone,while it is 5 metres on either side each on Gill Road,Ferozepur Road and Chandigarh Road. Accordingly,the Building Branch had sent notices to 1,718 residents-cum-showroom owners and a similar number of notices are still pending.

Following the notices,people feared demolition but with today’s announcement,it seems a majority of them will be relieved. The Building Branch now has another job: to identify the constructions after March 1996. This exercise is likely to start from Monday onwards,confirmed Municipal Town Planner (MTP) Hemant Batra.

Further,sub-committees will be formed according to the zones to decide the fate of the new constructions and also check if any alterations have been done in the old constructions. Sources,however,revealed that most of the constructions which were done before 1996 have been renovated over a period of time and an equal number of new constructions have also sprung up. Hence,it seems to be a difficult task for the Municipal Corporation authorities to decide on whom all to book and who all to spare.

“The zonal commissioner should be authorised to look after the appeals and objections of residents. A proper hearing will be given to all,” said Dhanda.

Bogus certificates
Sources revealed that several new constructions have come up all along the above mentioned roads and in order to avoid action,most of them are trying to procure bogus no-objection construction certificates dated before 1996. MTP Batra while admitting to the problem said,“Recently,I had gone to see a newly-constructed building on Gill Road and was surprised to see the owner possessing a TS-1 certificate dated 1978. Thus,our sub-committees will have to check the authenticity of the certificates before giving them a green signal.”

Political gimmick?
The whole process including surveys and verification of records by the sub-committees is likely to take a long time. Sources hinted that the whole exercise might just be a political gimmick by the SAD leaders to buy more time so as to avoid action ahead of the Lok Sabha polls.

Recently,even Congress leaders had protested against these notices.

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