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Cabinet panel to take call on illegal colonies 

Chandigarh: Questioning the intent of the draft policy to regularise about 6,500 illegal colonies in the state, the Cabinet today decided to set up a five-member sub-committee to finalise the policy and the legislation concerned.

The agenda item of the Housing and Urban Development Department to approve the policy was deferred for the second time in a week.

The sub-committee will submit its report in a month. It will also fix composition fee rates for the regularisation of unauthorised residential colonies under various categories.

A senior government functionary said most of the Cabinet ministers were of the view that the draft policy was aimed at giving benefit to illegal colonisers who had been demanding covered area up to 80 per cent against the department norms that allow up to 55 per cent.

Sources said Rural Development Minister Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa brought to the notice of the Chief Minister and other ministers a recent order of the Himachal High Court that had struck down the HP Town and Country Planning Regularisation Amendment Act-2016 that allowed regularisation of unauthorised structures.

Ministers Brahm Mohindra and Charanjit Channi also expressed reservation over the draft policy. During the last Cabinet meeting, Navjot Singh Sidhu had raised the issue, before being informed by a government functionary that the draft had been prepared after taking the Local Bodies Department in the loop.

Another Cabinet minister said the move to regularise illegal colonies that did not even qualify on the basic parameters was fraught with problems. In many colonies, the builders had not left enough land for roads, parks and other amenities.

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