Chandigarh PG fire: SDMs who had said ‘it’s not our job’ find 47 illegal PGs during inspection on DC’s orders

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Sub-Divisional Magistrates Nazuk Kumar (Central) visited over fifty PGs and found that apart from being run illegally, the students were staying in unhygienic and shabby conditions.

THREE SUB-DIVISIONAL Magistrates (SDMs) who had told Chandigarh Newsline that "it wasn't really their job" as junior officials to inspect paying guest (PG) accommodations, found 47 illegally operating ones on Wednesday.

They conducted the inspections on the instructions of the deputy commissioner.

This comes three days after three girl students were burnt alive in an illegally operated PG in Chandigarh's Sector 32.

All three SDMs, SDM South, SK Jain, SDM Central, Nazuk Kumar and SDM East, Sudhanshu Gautam were directed to carry out the inspections themselves.

On Monday, Newsline had posed a question to all three SDMs, asking them the last time they inspected a PG accommodation in their jurisdiction. "Don't remember" and "Not really their job" were the answers even after three young lives were snuffed out by a fire in a PG accommodation.

On Wednesday they visited over fifty PGs and found that apart from being run illegally, the students were staying in unhygienic and shabby conditions. As many as 12 illegal PG accommodations are reported to have closed their PGs themselves.

Meanwhile at the call centre number, 29 complaints were received from citizens about illegal PGs running in their vicinity. Of these, 12 were found in the South division, seven in Central division, and ten in the East Division.

A helpdesk has been set up at the reception centre of Estate Office to facilitate speedy registration of PGs. Applicants can apply for the registration on Form A which is also available at the counter from 9 am to 5 pm.

"The applicant must ensure that they fulfill the conditions as per policy," said the administration. The administration has received three applications for registration of PGs.

Meanwhile, UT Administrator V P Singh Badnore presided over a meeting of all departments and reviewed the progress being made with regard to various issues. He expressed concern on loss of three lives in the recent fire incident in Sector 32 and also directed that fire clearance should be mandatory for PG accommodations, adding that regular inspections will be conducted for the same.

Power tariff

On the issue of power tariff, the Administrator directed the Advisor to take feedback and forward objection and suggestions of the same to the Administrator, to allow policy decisions to be taken speedily. The Administrator also urged the officials present to expedite pending projects like Indira holiday home, shooting range, convention centre.

He also directed the Secretary Education to prepare a separate presentation about educational initiatives after conducting a thorough survey.