Over 1,500 illegal structures a bone of contention for govt


Punjab Amarinder Singh (Photo: Facebook)

Even as the Punjab government is likely to discuss upon a new housing policy in the assembly during its maiden budget session starting from 14 June, over 1500 illegal residential structures in Punjab has become a bone of contention for state government.

As per the records available with Punjab’s housing and urban development department, as many as 1,565 such illegal structures are yet to be regularised.

The Punjab Urban Development Authority’s (PUDA) sister bodies Jalandhar Development Authority (JDA) having 332, Amritsar Development Authority (ADA) having 335, Greater Ludhiana Area Development Authority (GLADA) having 113, Patiala Development Authority (PDA) having 330, Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) having 255 and Bathinda Development Authority (BDA) having 200 pending applications which are seeking the regularisation of structure.

Sources said that the government is mulling over to give a go ahead to regularise these structures, but the issue of such colonies built by private promoters, on Municipal Corporation (MC) land and on land outside MC limits has become a bone of contention for the government.

After coming to the power, Amarinder Singh led Congress government had ordered to set up a committee to be headed by the Chief Secretary, to formulate legislation for regularisation of illegal colonies and transfer of ownership rights to the occupants.

“We are looking into the applications seeking the regularisation of structures. There are some issues pending with us and we are working on that. We have suggested some steps in the upcoming housing policy that needs to be followed by the structures seeking regularisation,” Punjab’s Housing and Urban Development Department (HUDA), Additional Chief Secretary (ACS), Vini Mahajan, told The Statesman.

Sources, in PUDA, a subsidiary of Housing and Urban Development department, however, said, as many as 1,759 applications seeking regularisation of illegal structures have been given a positive nod. During the regime the Punjab government has received as many as 3,120 applications for regularisation of unauthorised colonies under the provisions of Punjab Land Special Provision Act-2014.

Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh in his recent order to implement Real Estate Regulation Act (RERA) in Punjab, had ordered a freeze on registration of FIRs in cases relating to unauthorised constructions till the completion of the ongoing review of such colonies.

CM had also asked officers to find a way to provide basic amenities to the people living in unauthorised colonies without encouraging development of more such colonies.