The go-ahead of the UT finance department for using basement of showrooms in the city, one year ago, seems to have hit a roadblock with the estate office seeking a legal opinion on it.
In May last year, the UT administration had paved way for traders to use building basements auctioned before 1993 for commercial purpose without taking permission from the authorities concerned. However, the estate office had not implemented the orders till date.
The move would have benefited traders who had been demanding the use of basements since long. A large number of general traders have taken up commercial activities in basements in different sectors, including Sectors 17, 22 and 35.
As per the decision, the traders would have to comply with laid-down norms.
According to norms, height of the basement should be more than nine feet and should also comply with other building bylaws, which require that ventilation in the basement should be provided as per the building bylaws or it should be centrally air-conditioned and should have minimum of two staircases. The area of the basement should not exceed the area as shown on the architectural controls/zoning controls and sanctioned building plans.
Besides, proper fire safety arrangement as per National Building Code and Delhi Fire Prevention and Fire Safety Act, 1986, as extended to Chandigarh, should be made.
The authorities had taken the decision on the basements issue after receiving numerous representations from Chandigarh Beopar Mandal (CBM) and various market associations, which had demanded that traders should be allowed to use basements for commercial activities without obtaining permission and depositing fees.
At present, traders have to apply for permission for using basements by paying a fee of Rs 300 per square foot.
Unhappy with the delay in implementation of the order, a delegation of the CBM met UT finance secretary VK Singh last week and urged him to execute the orders at the earliest.
When contacted, the UT finance secretary said certain objections were raised and the matter had been again referred back to legal remembrancer (LR).
Criticising the administration for deliberately delaying the implementation of the order, senior member of CBM Vinod Joshi questioned the motive of sending the matter back to LR when the decision was taken on the basics of opinion given by the same LR.
In the past, the estate office had served notices to a large number of traders for using basements without permission.