Chandigarh: Punjab government`s ambitious policy of regularising almost 5,000 unauthorised housing colonies in the state has come under severe criticism with residents and property dealers terming it as "impractical" due "exorbitant" amount of fees fixed for regularisation.
Threatening to intensify their agitation against this policy across the state, agitators under the banner of Punjab Colonisers and Property Dealers` Association today urged the state government to substantially reduce charges and fees for regularising illegal colonies.
"The policy for regularising illegal colonies under its present form will be a complete failure because Punjab government has fixed very high charges and fees for regularisation which is enviable for both colonisers and plot holders," the association`s president Kultar Singh said today.
State government has fixed regularisation charges in the range of Rs 1.20 lakh per acre to as high as Rs 15 lakh per acre depending upon the area in which the colonies were set up between 1995 till before April 1, 2013, said Singh.
Apart from this, plot holders in illegal colonies have also been asked to pay Rs 50 per square yard to Rs 500 per square yard, he added.
Other than the association, property consultants across the state have also expressed doubt over successful implementation of this policy.
"Though the state government`s intention is good, this policy is not going to be implemented due to excessive charges fixed for regularisation," said a Jalandhar-based coloniser Anil Chopra.
Protesting colonisers urged the state government to bring regularisation fees to the minimal.
"Against the government figure of 5,000 illegal colonies, there are around 15,000, to 20,000 colonies in Punjab which are unauthorised," Singh claimed.
In their effort to pressurise the state government to revise the policy, colonisers have started holding protest rallies across the state.
"We have been getting good response from people and we will hold more such rallies in various cities including Ludhiana, Amritsar, Sangrur, Patiala, Mansa and Bathinda in the coming days," he said.
Punjab government has formulated a new policy for regularising almost 5,000 illegal housing colonies and two lakh individual plot holders or building owners on payment of charges and fees.
Valid for only 2013-14, the policy entails strict action including disconnection of water supply, power and sewerage connections and legal proceedings if the scheme is not applied by colonisers and plot holders by August 2013, government sources said.