Punjab Residents Living around Sukhna Lake's Catchment Area Protest Demolition of Buildings

Reported by

Lakhvinder Singh

Published on

October 19, 2016

October 19, 2016

Updated on

October 19, 2016

Location of Conflict

Baltana

Mohali

Reason or Cause of Conflict

Township/Real Estate

(

)

People Affected by Conflict

173

Land Area Affected (in Hectares)

ha

Starting Year

State

Punjab

Sector

Infrastructure

Since 2011, intense construction, much of it by influential individuals, in the villages of Kaimbwala and Khuda Ali Sher in Chandigarh, parts of Kansal in Punjab and parts of Saketri in Haryana have been taking place close to the catchment area of the ecologically sensitive Sukhna Lake.
The High Court of Punjab and Haryana had banned new constructions in the area in an order issued on March 14, 2011. However, illegal construction after 2011 continued. Baljinder Kaur, president of MC Naya Gaon, had pointed out the lack of assistance from the administration and police in carrying out a demolition drive of illegal constructions. Additionally, even the Delhi high court had banned all construction activities in the lake's catchment area in the Camelot project in 2017. Later, the Supreme Court, in its judgment on November 5, 2019, upheld the verdict of the Delhi high court, which had rejected the proposal of a 95metrehigh and 28storeyed building project named Camelot in Punjab's Kansal, falling in the catchment area of the lake. In its more recent order in March 2020, the Punjab and Haryana high court penalised both the states for permitting the illegal constructions and fined them INR 100 crore each as damages for restoration of the catchment area of the Lake. The Chandigarh Administration had notified Sukhna Lake as a wetland under the Wetland (Conservation and Management) Rules, 2017, which is also expected to aid in preventing damaging construction activities in the catchment area. Many of the affected residents have protested against the court order. Harjot Singh Oberoi, president of the Kansal Residents Protection of Rights Association in Punjab, was quoted in a news report as saying, We have formed a joint action committee and have decided to move the Supreme Court on this matter. Construction activities, meanwhile, have continued unabated with the pandemic lockdown delaying the execution of the court order.

Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Demand for legal recognition of land rights

Other Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Opposition against demolition drive

Region Classification

Urban

Type of Land

Private

Type of Common Land

Total investment involved (in Crores):

Type of investment:

Year of Estimation

Page Number In Investment Document:

Has the Conflict Ended?

When did it end?

Why did the conflict end?

Categories of Legislations Involved in the Conflict

Environmental Laws, Other

Legislations/Policies Involved

Wetlands (Conservation and Management) Rules, 2017
Rule 3: [The rules are applicable to any area notified as a wetland by the Unnion or state government, or by any UT administration]; Rule 4(2): [List of activities prohibited within wetlands includes, among other things, encroachment of any kind]
Punjab New Capital (Periphery) Control Act, 1952
Section 3: [The state government can declare certain areas as controlled areas]; Section 5: [No person may erect or re-erect any building in a controlled area without prior written permission of the deputy commissioner]; Section 6: [Application for permission from the deputy commissioner to construct a building in a controlled area]; Section 11: [No land within a controlled area can be used for any purpose other than the purpose for which it was used on the date of the notification under Section 3(1)]
Punjab Regional and Town Planning and Development Act, 1995
Section 183: [Repeal and savings clause does not repeal the Punjab New Capital (Periphery) Control Act, 1952, indicating that the Periphery Control Act continues to apply]
Guidelines for Declaration of Eco-Sensitive Zones around National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries dated 2011
The guidelines prescribe three categories for grouping activities in eco-sensitive areas – prohibited, restricted with safeguards and permissible. Annexure-1 to the guidelines provide an illustrative list of such activities.
Environment (Protection) Act, 1986
Section 3: [The Union government is empowered to take all measures it feels are necessary for protecting and improving the quality of the environment]; Section 3(2)(v): [The Union government can restrict areas in which any industries or processes thereof will not be carried out]
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    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

Whether claims/objections were made as per procedure in the relevant statute

What was the claim(s)/objection(s) raised by the community? What was the decision of the concerned government department?

Legal Processes and Loopholes Enabling the Conflict:

No items found.

Legal Status:

In Court

Status of Case In Court

Pending

Whether any adjudicatory body was approached

What was the Decision of the Concerned Government Department?

Name of the adjudicatory body

Name(s) of the Court(s)

Supreme Court; High Court of Punjab and Haryana

Case Number

SC - CA Nos. 8398-8399 of 2019; P&H - CWP No. 20425 of 2010

Major Human Rights Violations Related to the Conflict:

No items found.

Whether criminal law was used against protestors

Reported Details of the Violation:

Date of Violation

Location of Violation

Nature of Protest

Protests/marches

Government Departments Involved in the Conflict:

Municipal corporation of Zirakpur

PSUs Involved in the Conflict:

Did LCW Approach Government Authorities for Comments?

Name, Designation and Comment of the Government Authorities Approached

Corporate Parties Involved in the Conflict:

Pvt. Estate companies

Did LCW Approach Corporate Parties for Comments?

Communities/Local Organisations in the Conflict:

Resources Related to Conflict

  • News Articles Related to the Conflict:
  • Documents Related to the Conflict:
  • Links Related to the Conflict:

Image Credit:  

Image Credit:  

Documented By

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Reviewed By

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Updated By

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Edited By

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