On the first day of the numbering draw for its Sector-63 project, the Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB) allotted house numbers to 868 flats allottees. There are a total of 2,108 flats in the much-delayed project that is expected to be handed over to the allottees by the end of this month and the next month in batches.
The formal inauguration of the housing complex is likely to take place within this month. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been sent an invitation but no confirmation has been received. Sources in the board said a letter had been sent seeking time from the PM, who has not attended any public meet in the city since being elected.
As for the project movement, floors had already been allotted. On Saturday, those who got numbers included 540 in the one-bedroom flats and 328 in three-bedroom flats. In all, 32 allottees — 24 in 1BHK, eight in 3BHK — were not made part of the draw as they failed to even submit the principal amount of their pending dues. The rest of the draw will be completed on Sunday.
The project’s building and utility work for 1,720 flats is in the last stage of completion, according to the board. The allotment of these is to be made within this month. The remaining 388 two-bedroom flats “are likely to be completed by August”, the work of which was allotted late due to litigation, the board reasoned.
Initially, the flats were to be constructed as ground-plus-three floors, but later it was decided to construct ground-plus -five, or stilt-plus-five floors to have more open area, the CHB press release noted. “Accordingly, request has been made to the finance department for issue of the revised allotment letter of land, which is still awaited,” the release added.
CHB added that there were various unavoidable delays in completion of the project due to hindrances, such as ban on quarrying causing scarcity of sand and ‘bajri’ (gravel) and litigation by the tendering agency.
Permission to join the sewerage and storm trunk lines by the SAS Nagar municipal corporation was given in 2014 “after continuous persuasions at all levels for four years and after payment of `6.36 crore”.
There were also a number of revisions in the layout of blocks because of residents of adjoining SAS Nagar complaining of invasion of privacy and some existing underground pipelines and other infrastructure.
Speculative bonanza ahead
There are at least 45 flats in the Sector-63 project that have been cancelled — exact number would be known after Sunday — and are to be auctioned with high reserve prices having been set already. Otherwise, the CHB is making the allotments on the basis of 2008 tentative prices as it did not want delay costs to be passed on to the allottees. As the plan is to make these houses freehold and allow their open sale without any lock-in period, this would mean a bonanza for the allottees.
They are getting the flats on the original 2008 market price after the delay blame was taken by the CHB — three-bedroom-hall-kitchen (3BHK) at `39.6 lakh, 2BHK at `29 lakh, 1BHK at `17 lakh and one-room in the economically weaker sections (EWS) category at `5.6 lakh. The current market price is around double that for all categories, going by the starting bid set by CHB for some of the flats that are up for auction. Property dealers are already hyperactive — leading to rising speculation in the otherwise sluggish market — especially after the announcement that immediate sale would be allowed.