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HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times
Chandigarh, November 10, 2013
The Punjab and Haryana high court has quashed the allotments of government accommodations to the Chandigarh Industrial and Tourism Development Corporation (CITCO) made after 1996. The administration has been asked to get around 50 houses occupied by CITCO employees vacated within two months and to transfer them to the general pool. As per rules, CITCO employees are not eligible for government accommodation.

An employee of the administration had moved high court stating against the allotment. Following this petition filed on December 12, 2012, the court imposed an embargo on CITCO for further allotment of houses to its employees. Thereafter, CITCO had decided to set up a residential colony for its staff.

It is worth noting that a full bench of the high court in a decision in 1985 had held that the employees of central government undertakings, employees of government-control corporations for states of Punjab, Haryana and UT such as CITCO are not entitled to the allotment of government houses.

As per rules, a house falling vacant on the retirement of an employee has to come in the Chandigarh administration general pool and can thereafter be allotted in accordance with Government Residences Allotment Rules, 1996, strictly in accordance with seniority.

CITCO had approached the administration for allotment of about three acres of land in the city for construction of residential accommodations for its staff. The corporation proposes to construct about 100 flats for different categories of employees, including two- and three-bedroom flats ranging from 900 to 1,650 square feet. The construction cost has been worked out at about Rs. 16.5 crore, excluding the cost of land. CITCO reportedly has a surplus Rs. 25 crore invested in fixed deposits in public sector banks.