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“Can’t benefit colonisers who robbed govt”, says Navjot Sidhu on the Colony Bill regulations

By Newsd
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"Can’t benefit colonisers who robbed govt", says Navjot Sidhu on the Colony Bill regulations
Source: newindianexpress

Chandigarh: In a meeting on Tuesday, Local Bodies Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu , expressed his anger on a Group of Ministers here while questioning the rationale behind bringing in a draft of The Punjab Laws (Special Provisions for Regularisation Authorised Colony) Bill, 2018, which, he claimed, would benefit only colonisers and rob the government of its resources.

Much to the discomfort of the ministers, Sidhu is learnt to have said that the draft policy, if implemented “as it is”, would stall the planned urban development for years to come.

Most others including Housing Minister Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa, Revenue Minister Sukhbinder Sarkaria, Food and Supplies Minister Bharat Bhushan Ashu, Industry Minister Sunder Sham Arora and PWD Minister Vijay Inder Singla, reportedly approved the draft, saying “it is practical”.

Sidhu was of the view that only those colonies where houses had been built should be regularised to benefit people.

Objecting over the new regulations, Sidhu reportedly argued that colonies had come up on choes and violated fire safety norms. “If internal and external development charges are to be calculated, it works to Rs 70 lakh per acre. But the draft talks of just Rs 5 lakh-Rs 20 lakh per acre as compounding fee. This means that the Local Bodies Department will be burdened with the liability of providing services to the colonies by spending Rs 25,000 crore,” he said

Sources said as soon as Bajwa presented the draft policy, most of the ministers approved it. It was decided that the coloniser opting for regularisation would have to show the registration of sale deeds in the names of plot holders within three months.

The Local Bodies Department had objected over the Housing Department’ fixation charge of Rs 3 lakh per acre for regularising the illegally obtained sewerage connections by linking the colony’s sewerage with that of the local body concerned. It has now been decided that the urban local body would fix the charges and this would not be a part of the policy.

When contacted, Bajwa said the policy would be taken to the Cabinet in its next meeting for final approval.

“How can you reward people who are robbing the government? If the aim is to provide civic amenities to the urban poor, where are they? The survey shows that most of these colonies are largely uninhabited. The plots have no serial number and most of these are registered in the names of relatives/cronies of the developer, said Sidhu”