Green belt at rear of heritage govt houses: HC notice to UT, MC

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The Punjab and Haryana High Court has issued a notice to the Chandigarh Administration and Municipal Corporation over a petition filed by a resident challenging the UT’s development plan of making a green belt at the rear of some heritage government houses in Sector 22, Chandigarh.

The petitioner, Gyanender Ahlawat, submitted before the HC that some of the houses — from number 21 to 34 — in Sector 22 have been lying vacant for decades because of overcrowded road abutting the same, nuisance of illegal vendors in the area, illegal market parking, roaming of anti-social elements/drug addicts and there being no concrete motorable road for entry towards the main gates of these houses like other Type IX houses in the same vicinity. The non-occupancy of these heritage houses has been causing recurring financial loss to the state exchequer.

The petitioner stated in his petition that the residents of the vicinity have already sent a detailed representation, dated November 8, 2021, to the Advisor against the proposed development plan.

The residents of the area have formed a group, Heritage Protection Group, which has been fighting to curb the menace of illegal vendors and it has also filed a writ petition in the High Court. After representing to the Administration/ MC and filing of writ petitions in the High Court by the Heritage Protection Group, the area has become habitable and much better than earlier. Now, some of the vacant heritage houses have been occupied by government employees after due allotments.

“The appellant and other residents have made repeated requests to the Chandigarh Administration, but the respondents have been ignoring the demand to lay a proper size motorable road for entry of vehicles to house number 21-34 connecting to other government houses citing heritage planning of this area. However, now the planning department of respondent Administration has approved an illegal, impractical and infeasible green belt grilling the residents of the Heritage Houses 21 to 34 and blocking their access to other government houses of the vicinity,” he added.

Aafter hearing the matter, a Bench of Justices Augustine George Masih and Sandeep Moudgil issued a notice to the Chandigarh Administration, and ordered for listing the matter on January 25, 2022.

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