Chandigarh: Facing demolition threat, families up in arms

Hina Rohtaki
Failing to get any concrete reply from the administration, they said that women would be sitting on protest daily from 11 am to 12 noon and 6 pm to 7 pm.

CHANDIGARH SMART City s key project of rejuvenation of Sector 17 will see demolition of 38 government houses of policemen in Sector 17 in the first phase. The families have been asked to vacate the houses within 10 days. The Smart City Limited will be coming up with a Citizen Facilitation Centre and Integrated Command Control Centre (ICCC).

Up in arms against the order, policemen s kin protested on Thursday alleging that houses of lower rank officials (upto Sub-Inspector s rank) were being razed and those of senior officers who stay exactly adjacent to their houses have been spared.

However, K K Yadav, Chief Executive Officer of the Chandigarh Smart City Limited, clarified that the entire police colony would be razed in two phases and alternative houses had been allotted to the families. There are 64 houses in this police complex.

Moreover, this was already approved by the heritage committee three years back. A citizen facilitation centre and ICCC has to come up here. Police s own command control room will also be here. This is a commercial institutional area, Yadav said.

An order issued by the Superintendent of Police (SP) Headquarters stated, It is intimated that as per decision of high power committee of administration all police pool houses of police complex in Sector 17 are to be dismantled and as such, it has been decided that all these Chandigarh police pool houses may be got vacated from the police personnel either of Chandigarh police or Punjab police.

The order said, It has been further conveyed that after dismantling these police pool houses, Chandigarh administration is planning to construct an Integrated Command and control room building in a time-bound manner. Since, high power committee of Chandigarh administration itself pursuing the matter, so it is requested to get the said Chandigarh police pool houses got vacated from the said officials within ten days time so that the vacant position of these houses could be handed over to administration at the earliest.

The families met city BJP chief Sanjay Tandon on Thursday evening requesting him that the administration be asked to revert the orders. They will be meeting him again on Monday.

Sarabjit Singh, son of a police official, told Chandigarh Newsline that the families have been staying here since 1958. The families have alleged that the houses they have been allotted in Sector 24 are not as per their entitlement and are in a shabby condition.

This colony was earmarked as the heritage site. Then how can they demolish it? Moreover, we have been staying here since 1958 and it is so difficult to stay at houses where even a peon won t agree to stay, he said.

Failing to get any concrete reply from the administration, they said that women would be sitting on protest daily from 11 am to 12 noon and 6 pm to 7 pm.

If required, we will even hold a chain hunger strike and meet leaders in Delhi. This is unjust. There are 200 houses vacant in sectors 9, 22, 23 but we have been allotted those in Sector 24 which are in such a pathetic state, Deepak, another occupant, said.