Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB), a government body that was set up with the idea to provide reasonably-priced decent housing for the middle and lower-middle class, has made itself a money minting machine to the extent that it has asked one of its allottees to deposit `7.5 lakh for defaulting `1.
Paramjeet Singh, who was allotted a two-bedroom first-floor flat under the general self-financing housing scheme in Sector 63, had paid an instalment of `8.17 lakh on June 11, 2011, which was `1 less than CHB's demand. Now, the CHB has asked Paramjeet to deposit whopping `7.5 lakh for the lapse.
Another allottee, Hardev Kaur, who had bought a one-bedroom flat on the third floor, had defaulted `3 when she paid an instalment of `4.81 lakh and she has now been asked to pay `4.76 lakh.
There are eight similar cases where allottees have been asked to pay in lakhs for defaulting amount ranging between `1 to `880.
Not only that, sources in the CHB say that under the provisions of the scheme, the allotments would be cancelled if the allottees fail to pay the outstanding amount within two months.
Speaking to HT, one of the allottees said, "It is very harsh on CHB's part to charge hefty interest for defaulting only a few rupees. It is a common sense that we didn't do this on purpose. When we can pay the instalment in lakhs, there is no question of not paying `5 or `10."
As per the CHB rules, it charges 18% interest in the first month, 24% in second month and 30% from third month.
When contacted, chief accounts officer of CHB, AK Jasrotia, said, "The matter is being discussed with the higher officers." He refused to comment further on the issue.
Rajat Malhotra, secretary, CHB residents' federation said, "Imposing such a heavy penalty is complete injustice with the common man. They are doing this when the CHB is expected to provide succor to the people by offering affordable housing. We will take up the issue with authorities concerned."
CHB to hand over possession within a month
Chandigarh Housing Board will hand over the possession of flats to the allotees of Sector 63 general housing scheme within a month. CHB chairman Maninder Singh, at a press conference held recently, said, "Possession will be given within a month. A total of 2,108 flats have been constructed and road work is on."