Residents said delicensing will lead to conversion of green areas around housing complexes, as well as children’s playgrounds, into commercial areas.
In the letter, residents said this one action of Haryana assembly will destroy the public’s trust in the government. They have requested PM Modi’s intervention before the Governor gives his assent to the bill.
Ambience Lagoon Island Residential Complex originally had an area of 19 acres. “After the apartments were built and sold, the builder got around eight acres of our land delicensed, where they built the Ambience Mall, offices and a hotel. The builder later took away another four acres and built a commercial tower,” said MN Chopra, a resident.
On July 10, the Punjab and Haryana high court had quashed the delicensing orders on the ground that delicensing is not permitted in Haryana and directed the CBI to investigate the Ambience Lagoon case.
Sanjay Lal, a resident, said: “The state Assembly moved at an alarming speed and brought in an legislation on August 26 making a provis-ion that the DTCP has the powers to delicense any plot of land and that too from the year 1976 onwards.”
“I bought a flat in the society in 2002. The builder had advertised a lagoon in the brochure and I was told that my flat would have a view of the lagoon. The barsati nallah (stormwater drain) was supposed to be the lagoon,” said Poonam Sood, who also lives in the society.
“But the builder, in connivance with the authorities, built a mall over it. This has resulted in the city being flooded during the monsoon, as the natural water channel has been blocked by the builder. In order to whitewash their wrongdoings, the government has allowed delicensing,” she added.
The cost of the land was included in the rate of the flats and the buyers also paid the external development charges. “This means that we are the co-owners of the land on which the mall has been built,” Sood said.
The move will also have widespread ramifications on the environment and quality of life, residents alleged.
“The new bill is a sign of desperation to somehow regularise every illegal act by a builder committed in collusion with statutory authorities. With the government’s move, any of our green areas could be turned into commercial or residential blocks in the future,” said Kavita Roy, another resident.