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Chandigarh panchayats oppose draft to move under corporation

November 09, 2018 05:17 AM


Vivek Gupta
Chandigarh panchayats oppose draft to move under corporation
CHANDIGARH: The UT administration’s move to bring 13 villages under the ambit of the municipal corporation (MC) has been met with strong resistance from the panchayats, as more than 20 objections have been filed against the draft notification of UT.

Feedback on the draft can be filed till November 12 after which the administration will look at the objections and suggestions and take the decision.

Chandigarh has a total of 22 village panchayats. While nine were brought under MC limits in 2006, rest are still under administration’s control.

Pawan Sharma, legal counsel representing several gram panchayats, said each of the 13 villages filed objections against the administration’s latest move. “It is sad that the administration began the exercise without settling the issue of lal dora (area beyond which construction is not allowed) extension in villages,” he said.

Even after coming under the MC, he said, the area beyond lal dora will not be regularised and will continue to be governed under the Periphery Control Act. Sharma said UT has been dragging its feet on the extension of lal dora, despite commitment by the UT administration in Punjab and Haryana high court in 2006.

Then there is no provision of economic package. Many of the traditional businesses will become redundant, said Sharma. He also said UT’S draft has come at a time when elections in these villages were due and this is nothing but a diversion from issues.

While the administration said the villages will get organised development under the MC, villagers said cash-strapped corporation will not be able to cater to their development issues. Sadhu Singh, sarpanch of Sarangh village, said nine villages that were brought under the MC in 2006 are struggling with basic amenities. The MC is under severe financial crisis having no money for development works. He added that administration having surplus funds should resolve issues of the villages, rather than escaping their responsibility by brining them under lethargic MC.

People are wary of more taxes as well. Under the MC, existing villages are paying property tax and a slew of other taxes. Recently, the MC imposed property tax in commercial buildings of five villages, which are currently under its jurisdiction, putting financial burden on over 5,000 properties in these areas

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