The Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB) has imposed a penalty of over Rs 54 lakh on companies that failed to execute projects like roads, install fire fighting systems and solar water heaters leading to a three-month delay in completion of work under Sector-63 housing scheme. The project was to be completed by October 2015, but was finally completed in January and February.
Launched in 2008, the work on the project started in 2011 and a total of 2,108 flats were constructed.
The board has now imposed Rs 9-lakh penalty on road contractor — Panchkula-based Asphalt Carpet Construction — which should have been imposed by then chief engineer Sunil Kumar. Kumar had sought repeated extension of the final deadline for completion of the project till he was issued a show-cause notice on January 8.
For the delay in installation of the firefighting system, show-cause notices were issued to Delhi-based HST Enterprises. Though the exact amount of penalty is yet to be decided, sources say Rs 10-lakh fine could be imposed on them.
As per the National Building Code, a contractor needs to obtain a no objection certificate (NOC) from fire department before handing over buildings to end users. But, in this case, the allottees of the Sector-63 housing society were given possession much before the NOC was obtained on January 6.
Similarly, for delay in installation of the solar water heaters in these buildings, a penalty of Rs 35 lakh has been imposed on two agencies — Chandigarh-based Intersolar Pvt Ltd and Gujarat-based Kosol Hiramrut Energies Private Limited. These agencies were able to finish the work after four months of delay in February. Against the contract, the allottees were handed over the houses without installing solar water heating systems. Moreover, in strict violation of Building Rules, overhead solar water heating systems, which should be installed at least a metre distance from the building, were installed along with the wall, thereby putting several lives at risk.
Meanwhile, sources say the board is also mulling imposition of a heavy penalty on the main contractor, BL Mehta, for the inordinate delay in completion of the project.
When contacted, board chairman Maninder Singh said, “We have imposed Rs 54 lakh penalty on different companies for the delay. On January 8, chief engineer Sunil Kumar was suspended for several lapses. He had given several extensions to the contractor without any imposing any penalty, which caused around `10-crore loss to the board. Also, the project got delayed by two years.”
About the project
Launched in 2008, the work on the project started in 2011 and a total of 2,108 flats were constructed, of which 336 were three bedroom, 888 two bedroom, 564 one bedroom and 320 for economically weaker sections. The CHB has given possession to most of the allottees. The contract to construct 1,668 units was given to BL Mehta and the rest to Krishna Construction and Telecommunication Consultancy And Engineering Company.