Showing little regard to the directions of the union ministry of home affairs (MHA), the Chandigarh administration is sitting over the long-pending demand of industrialists pertaining to need-based changes, for the past over a year.
Much to the industrialists' anguish, there is a delay despite several representations by the Industries Association of Chandigarh (IAC) in the past few years, upon which the Parliament standing committee on home affairs had asked the administration to pay attention to the issue of need-based changes and redress the grievances of industries appropriately.
Last year, the administration had constituted a committee under the chairmanship of the chief architect to consider the demands of the industrialists, but nothing has materialised so far.
The industrialists have been demanding increase in the ground coverage of the plots. As of now, 75% of the total area can be covered in plots measuring up to 1 kanal, while the permissible limit of ground coverage for plots ranging between 2 and 4 kanal is 60%. In plots above 4 kanal, 40% of the total area can be covered.
IAC president Arun Mahajan maintained that in industrial plots there is a need to cover open spaces to prevent the raw material from bad weather, theft and rain. He stated that Industrial Area was set up around 60 years ago and there have been lots of changes in business requirements and even the building needs have also changed, hence need-based changes should be allowed.
Criticising the administration for the delay, Mahajan said, "So far, they have done nothing on the issue except paying lip service."
When contacted, UT chief architect Sumit Kaur said they are yet to work out the modalities. She further stated that things will be finalised only after the draft Master Plan 2031 is approved.
The administration had set up Phases 1 and 2 of the Industrial Area during the 70s on an area measuring 147 acres. According to the official figures, there are a total of 1,884 plots in both phases, of which 381 plots are of 5 marla, while there are 443 and 180 plots measuring 10 and 15 marla, respectively. There are around 700 plots measuring 1 kanal and above.
The other demands include nod for setting up temporary sheds for the purpose of storing material and enhancement of the floor-area ratio (FAR). The administration has already imposed an embargo on further enhancement of FAR in the Industrial Area. The industrial association has been demanding enhancement of FAR from 1 to 2. As of now, the administration charges Rs 200 per square feet for enhancing FAR from .75 to 1.