Illegal colony grows, captures 65 acres in 40 yrs, gets power connection; UT admin says don’t know how

After the demolition of Colonial No. 4, Chandigarh administration may have regained about 65 acres of land worth Rs 2,000 crore. However, who allowed the oldest slum colony to grow for forty years remained unanswered from the administration. The colonial administration destroyed the land on Sunday without political or non-political resistance. The drive was unexpectedly smooth and quiet. The Utah real estate office has been a silent onlooker for four decades, said Harjit Sandhu, assistant real estate officer of Utah.

When asked why slums are allowed to grow and whether the real estate office doesn’t check unauthorized dwellings, Sandow said, “I don’t know who allowed it. This colony is between thirty and forty years old and I only took over six months ago.”

He added, “And we don’t make them homeless. We rehabilitate the homeless, we give them homes to start living in a better environment. We rehabilitated them in Malawi, all those who have the supporting documents.”

Utah counselor, Dharam Pal, said, “I think attempts have been made [to remove the occupants] In the past but this could not be done for various reasons. Then the survey process was completed and the beneficiaries were settled. Covid was also a deterrent. However, I won’t be able to comment on why I didn’t do something in the past.”
A former UT official stated that the slums have grown with the knowledge of the real estate office, the engineering wing, and local political leaders.

Residents were provided with an electrical connection, which was authorized by the official commissioned by the Supreme Court.

“Power delivery has been mandated by the Supreme Court but the truth is that the real estate office and engineering wing officials have been hand in hand with the help of some political workers from the colony itself, throughout this time. Several attempts have been made to demolish the colony in the past but they all failed due to a lack of political will and administrative decisions. .

Other slums with demolition on the cards

Officials said Chandigarh continues to house many slums that may soon be demolished. Among these, Sanjay Colony in Phase I Industrial Zone and Kumhar Colony in Sector 25 are at the top of the list. Many slums continue to appear in sector 25 and are growing every day.

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