The Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB) on Tuesday officially declared that houses sold on power of attorney (PoA) during the no-sale, lock-in period could be transferred upon the end of lock-in and payment of all dues.
But residents are far from elated as the larger issue of needbased changes and building violations remains hanging.By admission, the board’s decision would benefit only around 1,200 allottees, and that too if their houses pass the inspection to check non-permitted changes.
The decision is significant only because, earlier, the board did not accept any PoA or sale agreement signed within the lock-in, which is five years for most houses. The change in stance comes following a January decision of the Punjab and Haryana high court, which the CHB won’t appeal against, as had been reported by HT.
The relief covers deals executed on or before October 11, 2011, and would be applicable “only for general public schemes… in which applications have been invited and allotments have been made through draw of lots,” said the CHB release.
“We welcome the decision, but it won’t serve any larger purpose,” reacted Rajat Malhotra, press secretary of the CHB Residents Welfare Federation.
“Most allottees have made changes in houses that are categorised as ‘violations’. And there remains a clause for inspection to check such violations before any ownership transfer. That’s why most people are not going to apply as the inspection can put them in legal trouble. There are over 10,000 such allottees,” he added.
In all, there are 48,000 CHB units, and around 70% of the allottees wanted ownership transfer as they have sold the houses, he said. “Most people got the transfer done in the 2006-2012 period, when the inspection wasn’t done as part of an understanding between the board and the residents. But after 2012, the inspection-before-transfer was restarted, and the process got stuck again,” Dutt said.
Since then, there have even been FIRs against around 25 allottees who had apparently given false undertakings that their houses had no violations while applying for ownership transfer, or conversion from leasehold to freehold in their own name.
“We have followed the HC orders on the lock-in sale and transfer. But, as far as violations, misuse and encroachments are concerned, I will go by the rules as they stand today,” CHB secretary Mandeep Kaur said.
CHB chairman Maninder Singh could not be contacted for comment on Tuesday, but he had told HT in an interview last week that he would take a “liberal” view of need-based changes. “We could also consider allowing all internal changes as long as these are within the four walls of the house,” he had said.
A decision on that is awaited