iconimg Thursday, April 02, 2015

Vinod Kumar, Hindustan Times
Chandigarh, September 18, 2013
Getting tough with industrialists violating the Chandigarh Estate Rules, 2007, the UT estate office has served misuse notices to around 100 industrialists in Phase 1and 2 of the Industrial Area. The notices have been issued in the past three days and the estate office has charged a penalty of Rs. 500 per square yard from each violator. More such notices are to be slapped on those flouting rules in the Industrial Area in coming days.

The authorities have acted on the findings of the survey which they initiated last month. A team of the estate office had videographed all plots in Phase 1 and 2 to ascertain the extent of misuse of the industrial plots.

The survey revealed that many industrialists were carrying out activities other than manufacturing without opting for conversion policy. Besides that, many have also violated building bylaws.

In many cases, the industrialists were found using basement for commercial activities which otherwise is only meant for storage purposes, while many industrialists have also covered area which is not allowed as per the law.

As per norms, 75% of total area can be covered in plots measuring up to 1 kanal, while the permissible limit of ground coverage for plots ranging from 2 to 4 kanal is 60%. In plots above 4 kanal, 40% of the total area can be covered.

According to officials, the majority of violations are neither sanctionable nor compoundable. The administration had set up Phases 1 and 2 during 1970s on 147 acres. Plots were originally allotted for setting up manufacturing units, but over the years, a large number of allottees have used the land for commercial purposes other than manufacturing.

The authorities will also use the data gathered from the survey to corroborate their claims in a three-decade-old dispute with allottees of industrial plots, who were not given possession of the plots. The case is going on in the Supreme Court.

A senior official requesting of anonymity said the findings of the survey would help them in supporting the claims the left over allottees would also indulge in activities other than manufacturing.

Despite repeated attempts, assistant estate office (AEO) Rahul Gupta was not available for comments.


Move irrational, say traders

The Industries' Association of Chandigarh (IAC) has termed the move of estate office as “irrational”. Association president Arun Mahajan said traders were forced to make certain changes inside their premises as the administration had failed to bring in need-based changes.

“There is a vast difference between the circumstances prevailing at the time when plots were allotted and present time. How can an industrialist function in the present time with old rules?” rued Mahajan.

He further said the administration would never had to issue misuse notices had it took trouble of in bringing in need-based changes according to the requirement of time.