The UT administration has agreed to assist Chandigarh Industrial and Tourism Development Corporation (CITCO) management find suitable land outside the city for staff housing but refused to loosen its purse strings for the purpose.
The UT authorities have instead directed CITCO to furnish proof of sufficient funds to buy land and also foot the cost of construction thereof. CITCO is said to have surplus funds of about Rs 25 crore invested in fixed deposits in public sector banks.
UT adviser KK Sharma said that positive response had been received from Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GAMADA) regarding land for the CITCO housing society.
The move comes after CITCO approached the administration for allotment of about three acres of land in the city for the construction of residential accommodations for its staff.
After a Punjab and Haryana high court ruling prevented allotment of houses to CITCO employees, the corporation had decided to set up a residential colony for its staff.
CITCO proposed to construct about 100 flats for different categories of employees, including two- and three-bedroom flats ranging from 900 to 1,650 square feet. The construction cost was worked out at about Rs 16.50 crore, excluding the cost of land.
In 1990, a major expansion of Hotel Mountview was undertaken and all staff accommodations on the premises were demolished. In 1992, the administration had offered 3.9 acres to CITCO in lieu of dismantled houses at the rate of Rs 750 per square yard. However, due to paucity of fund, the corporation failed to avail of the offer.
As per norms, CITCO staff is not entitled to government accommodation. A full bench of the high court in 1985 held that employees of central government undertakings, state government corporations in Punjab and Haryana and UT such as CITCO were not entitled to allotment of government houses. In alleged violation of court directions and house allotment rules with impunity, CITCO had allotted houses to its employees over the years.
As per earlier allotment rules of 1972, some government houses were transferred to CITCO to be further allotted to its employees. However, new allotment rules called 'government residencies allotment rules, 1996' provided that “houses already allotted to the employees of the ineligible offices and other such categories shall be got vacated on their transfer out of Chandigarh, resignation, dismissal, retirement or death.” This decision was conveyed to CITCO on November 19, 2006.
Houses that fall vacant on the retirement of a CITCO employee return to Chandigarh administration general pool and can thereafter be allotted in accordance with government residences allotment rules, 1996, strictly in accordance with seniority.