Two rules on one policy leave Chandigarh's Industrial Area suffering. Eight years back, both UT estate office and Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB) came out with different communications on "conversion policy", facilitating industrialists to convert industrial plots into commercial ventures.
The letters for change of land use were handed over to some plot owners by the CHB and to the rest by the estate office.
The letters issued by the estate office carried a stipulation that the project be completed within three years of the issuance of letter. However, the people who received their letters from the CHB had no mention of the time frame. It is rather ironical and whimsical attitude of the authorities that there are two rules for one policy.
As a result of dual rules, some plot owners could get their properties converted, while others who could not meet the deadline remained unsuccessful.
The property holders are now objecting to the different rules adopted by the two wings of the UT administration. The matter has again come into focus with the estate office issuing notices to the applicants for completing conversion process and for violations carried out by some property owners.
Describing the entire system as faulty, the property owners under the supervision of the estate office are now asking for parity with other property owners, that is no more time restriction for setting up the project.
The development is significant as 88 applications for conversion were received by the estate office and CHB. So far, only 15% have successfully completed the projects. About 12 to 15 builders have been sent notices for completion of the project by the estate office.
Giving reasons for inability to complete conversion within a stipulated time period of three years, the property owners claim that there is no clarity.
Elaborating, they say the entire system is faulty since beginning. In the absence of clear-cut guidelines, the land owners claim that they find it tough to complete the process, which has resulted in haphazard growth of the Industrial Area.
On the other hand, the estate office is blaming the property owners for the situation. They assert that most of the property owners do not specify the projects they will set up after conversion.
With the activity not being specified after conversion, there is a lack of planning in the Industrial Area. The administration itself is not aware of the projects coming up in the area and what is the capital investment. Besides that, the properties have changed hands resulting in difficulty in verifying the antecedents and the claims of the owners.
What are the flaws
CHB did not put three years clause
No restriction on transfer of ownership and on registered partnership
No clarity sought from traders on what kind of project will come up