Unauthorized religious structures spring up in Chandigarh : The Tribune India


Tribune press service

Chandigarh, June 5

Illegal religious structures have appeared in different parts of the city without fear of the law.

This gives rise to encroachments. During a random check, such structures were found in the grounds of Sector 52 near EWS houses, in the mango orchard of Sector 29 near Tribune Chowk, and in some villages and settlements.

396 religious places in the city: Survey

According to a survey conducted by the administration in July-August 2005, there are 396 places of worship in Chandigarh. Of these, 194 are in the sectoral grid, 128 in the villages and 74 in the settlements. Of the 194 places of worship in the sector network, 92 have been allocated by the Administration. Others are not allowed with a few exceptions, which have existed since the city’s inception.

“The law must be enforced”

As these are religious places and therefore sensitive subjects, the authorities are not very interested in them. However, the law is the same for everyone and must be applied. —Ravi Kumar, a resident of Sector 45

“Some people put up small religious structures on the side of the road, which can cause accidents. Public lands are being encroached on for this, but the authorities seem to turn a blind eye,” said Jaswinder, a resident of Sector 29.

“As these are religious places and therefore sensitive subjects, the authorities are not very interested in them. However, the law is the same for everyone and must be applied,” said Ravi Kumar, a resident of Sector 45. According to a survey conducted by the administration in July-August 2005, there are 396 places of worship in Chandīgarh.

Of these, 194 are in the sectoral grid, 128 in the villages and 74 in the settlements. Of the 194 places of worship in the sector network, 92 have been allocated by the Administration. Others are not allowed with a few exceptions, which have existed since the city’s inception.

A senior officer at the Estates Office said, “We carry out regular inspections. We take action whenever we receive complaints. We are also taking suo motu action if anything like this comes to our knowledge. However, we have not compiled any list of illegal places of worship recently.

He said four such illegal structures in Colony No. 4 had recently been razed. Besides, a religious structure built near the PGI was demolished by them earlier.