Even as the Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB) plans to offer a 10-storey option under the UT employees’ housing scheme, there is no provision under the current buildings laws and rules of the city to allow such building heights.
The UT urban planning department has intimated the same to CHB. “For allowing these many floors in a multi-storey building, amendments in the zonal plan and Chandigarh master plan would be required. Currently, there is no provision for such building heights under the UT laws and rules,” said a senior official, who didn’t want to be named.
In a bid to reduce the rates of flats under the scheme, CHB has developed two project options — seven-storey and 10-storey buildings.
A 10-storey construction would reduce the land needed for the scheme. As the major cost component of the project is high price of land, reduction in area requirement is expected to bring down the cost for the applicants, say CHB officials.
Currently, discussions on these two options are going on with the urban planning department. The department is yet to give consent to any of the two options.
On the question if there are no provisions under the city laws and rules to allow 10-storey building project, then why CHB is pursuing such an option, CHB chief executive officer Yashpal Garg said, “After these designs get the nod of the planning department, we will access the revised cost of the project. In case the revised cost for allottees comes lower than the current costs, we will request the competent authority to allow for one-time amendments in the rules and permit the 10-storey project.”
The process to reassess and revise the cost of the project started after the August-19 meeting between UT administration officials, employees’ representatives and ministry of home affairs officers. The meeting was chaired by the Union home secretary to discuss all matters regarding the housing scheme.
In the meeting, it was decided that the rates will be calculated again for different categories by considering various factors such as floor area ratio, collector rate and plotted area in consultation with the representatives of petitioners of UT Employees’ Housing Scheme court case.
The much-delayed scheme
Around 4,000 flats were to be built in Sectors 52, 53 and 56 by CHB for government employees as a part of a scheme launched in 2008.
A draw of lots was held in 2010, wherein 3,930 employees among 7,827 applicants were selected. They had then deposited around ₹57 crore with CHB under the scheme.
Later, the scheme was shelved and then revived after the employees took up the matter with city MP Kirron Kher. But the ministry of home affairs allowed the administration to transfer the land to CHB at the current collector rates.
With this, the apartment costs shot up to ₹50 lakh for Category D, ₹1 crore for Category C, ₹1.64 crore for Category B and ₹2.08 crore for Category A.
When the scheme was announced, the rates were only ₹34.7 lakh for Category A, ₹24.3 lakh for Category B, ₹13.53 lakh for Category C and ₹5.76 lakh for Category D.
The employees then moved the high court, alleging that CHB was charging five times the initial price for land.
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