UT administrator Shivraj Patil is said to have snubbed a grouping of city-based traders that met him on Thursday to demand a rollback in the recent hike in collector rates of commercial and residential properties in the city.
Apart from a rollback in collector rates, the grouping, comprising eight traders' associations of the city, had met the administrator to ask him to take steps on what they described as exorbitant penalty for violation of building bylaws by traders.
A source said the administrator was not amused by the decision of the traders to form a joint association to pressure the administration to roll back the hike in collector rates, which was done following directions by the union ministry of home affairs (MHA).
Patil is said to have told the delegation, which was led by MPS Chawla, that he would not entertain any demand which was not genuine and that the administration would not give in to any pressure tactics.
The UT administration had recently hiked collector rates by up to 50%, pushing up the rates of both commercial and residential properties in the city by manifold. The collector rate is the minimum rate at which a property is registered. Nobody is allowed to purchase land and immovable properties in different categories below the rate determined by the administration.
In its directions, the MHA had asked the administration to bring the collector rates on a par with prevailing market rates. The hike had invited much criticism from traders' associations in the city, with some of them forming a joint action committee and staging a protest against the administration.
The group that met Patil and formed the committee comprises Industry and Converted Plot-Owners Association, Chandigarh Industrial Association, Property Consultants' Association, Chandigarh Beopar Mandal, Chandigarh Business Council, and Chamber of Chandigarh Industries.
Patil, however, was reportedly more cordial with the group when it came to the issue of the Rs 500-per-square-yard penalty for building violations by traders.
On the issue of reducing the penalty, Patil reportedly said that the matter was under consideration, but advised the associations to ask their members to remove the violations so as to safeguard them from any punitive action.
Several traders in major sectors such as 17, 22, 26, 34, and 35 have violated building bylaws. There are more than 500 buildings that have been resumed by the estate office so far, but these have not been vacated since appeals by the traders are still pending with the authorities concerned.