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Mother Teresa's charity home faces a $650,921 fine in India

Shanti Dan home in Chandigarh, India. (HT Photo)

Mother Teresa's Missionaries of Charity Home received a show-cause notice for allegedly violating building laws from the state of Chandigarh, India, on January 9.

The Hindustan Times reported on January 9 that the federally-ruled territory administration had asked the Sector 23 institution to appear for a personal hearing on February 10.

The administration reported that individuals violated building codes by placing plants in parking spots on the premises.

Besides issuing the notice, the Sub-Divisional Magistrate (Central) has fined $638.63 (53,000 rupees) a day since October 9, 2020, which amounts to $650,921.94 (54 million rupees).

After receiving the notice, we installed landscaping on the parking area adjacent to the right-hand side of the main gate, covering 900 square feet. Additionally, we planted another parking area adjacent to the left-hand side, covering 16,800 square feet.

For this violation, the home is liable to pay 3 rupees per day per square foot, which comes to around $638.63 (53,000 rupees) a day.

The notice states that any violations occurring at the site or building will be charged at the specified rate within 15 days, and a 1.25 percent per month interest will be charged for any delay in payment.

If the fine is not paid, we will seal the site, resume operations, and refund the fine.

Under Rules 14 and 16 of the Chandigarh Estate Rules 2007, we have issued the show-cause notice.

In response to the notice, Raman Walia, an advocate and social worker who regularly visits the home, said that keeping flower pots and planting small plants cannot be regarded as a violation and that it was invalid. He urged the administrator to intervene and withdraw the notice as soon as possible.

Arvind Bansal is another social worker who has visited the home for the past decade, and he praised the nuns for their selfless service and urged residents to support the construction of a parking lot since cash donations are not allowed at the nuns' home.

Mother Teresa laid the foundation stone for the home, named "Shanti Dan" (peace donation), on October 3, 1977, and requested society not to make any cash donations.

Since its establishment in 1980, the home has cared for 40 disabled individuals at a time, and in July 2015, the home decided not to adopt any more children.


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