The Punjab and Haryana high court on Thursday directed the state government to demolish 98 illegal structures built within 100 meters of the Chandigarh International Airport, in a petition filed by Mohali Industries Association in 2015 on infrastructure related issues of the airport.
Structures built in immediate vicinity of the airport pose serious threats to the smooth functioning of the airport, as they cause interference in the taking off and landing of the planes. Moreover, the airport is also used by Air Force and these structures are a threat to its operation as well. Therefore, construction within 100 meter periphery of the airport was prohibited by way of a notification dated March 9, 2011, issued under Section 3 of the Work of Defence Act, 1903.
A committee headed by Punjab chief secretary, constituted on the directions of the high court, identified structures built in the area before and after the date of notification. The petition titled "Mohali Industries Association v. Union of India & Ors." was being heard by Chief Justice Krishna Murari and Justice Arun Palli. They ordered the government to demolish structures that had come up after March 2011 within four months.
"In so far as 98 structures, which were raised post 9.3.2011 and standing in village Bhabat, regarding which there is no dispute that they are to be demolished immediately, we hereby direct that the procedure for the demolition may be carried out within a period of four months from today. All the authorities responsible for carrying out the demolition shall be dutiful to carry out the demolition process within the stipulated period", the bench said.
The court will decide the fate of structures built before March 2011 on the next date of hearing, i.e., September 23 in as much as compensation needs to be paid and a different procedure of demolition has to be followed for these structures. The court also asked the committee to hold monthly meetings to ensure that no fresh illegal structures come up hereafter.
The bench has asked the Centre to decide upon the proposal of including Chandigarh airport in the list for 'open sky policy' operation of airlines from ASEAN Countries.
The bench also requested the Defence Secretary to convene a meeting of all stake-holders and take a decision on CAT-IIIB facility within two weeks. The proposal already has the nod of Airport Authority of India and Chandigarh International Airport but is pending on account of clearance from the Defence Ministry. A similar request has also been made to clear the proposal for construction of Southern Taxi Track.
Government ensures Demolition as per Procedure
In another related petition, titled "Urmilla Aggarwal & Anr. v. Union of India & Ors.", the Advocate General of Punjab, Atul Nanda assured that demolition of structures will not be carried out except in accordance with law after following the due procedure.
The petition was filed by one Urmilla Aggarwal and another through Senior Advocate Kanwaljit Singh with Advocate A. D. S. Jattana, seeking directions to be issued to the Municipal Corporation of Punjab to not demolish the houses of the petitioners, built in the periphery of the Chandigarh International Airport.
It was submitted that the petition was filed under apprehension of potential demolition of their establishments, as reported by certain newspapers. It was argued that the demolition process could not be undertaken as no decision till date had been taken by the Respondent on the detailed reply filed by the Petitioners, against notice of demolition.
Click Here To Download Order