MC to take up rentals for only four of 240 shops lying vacant for a decade

  • Hillary Victor, Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
  • Updated: Oct 31, 2014 14:46 IST

The municipal corporation’s slack functioning has come to the fore with the civic body proposing to fix the rent of just four shops out of the total 240 which have been lying vacant in various parts of the city for the past decade.

The MC plans to fix the rent of four shops which were constructed on the Sector-17 overbridge here, at the in-house meeting on Friday.

Though MC commissioner Vivek Pratap Singh constituted a committee on August 22 to frame a policy to dispose the properties, the panel only discussed these newly-constructed four shop-cum-offices or office spaces, leaving the remaining spaces to be vacant. The committee decided to rent out these four shops at `75 per square yard per month.

However, the vacancy of the remaining shops has cost the civic body about `5 crore.

Not only are the shops lying vacant for a decade now, but their condition has also deteriorated due to non-maintenance.

Former mayor Pardeep Chhabra said the civic body had been exposed and questioned why, even after 10 years, were the authorities placing the agenda of just four offices.

In several house meetings, the issue was raised and debated. Councillors even suggested that shops in the subway of Sector 17-22 should be given to vendors for setting up food stalls, but nothing has been done so far.

Even 26 booths at the air-conditioned fish market in Sector 41 are lying vacant for the past three years, causing a huge loss to the MC.

In November last year, the civic body constructed 40 booths under the newly- built overbridge in Sector 17, but only four among them are on the MC’s agenda for the in-house meeting.

Deputy mayor Davesh Moudgil said, “Despite imposing house tax last year, the civic body draws a blank when it comes to income generation.”

In the past three years, there has been a sharp dip in the MC’s income.

In 2013-14, it earned only Rs 50 crore, while in 2012-13, the income was Rs 75 crore and the year before that it was Rs 80 crore.

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