With the last date of regularisation of unauthorised colonies over on December 31, the municipal corporation (MC) has so far failed to initiate steps to refund the excess amount deposited by the people. Residents are ruing the inordinate delay and failure of the MC authorities in informing the exact status of the refunds.
A sum of over Rs 37 crore was collected by the MC as colony regularisation fees and over Rs 2 crore have been due to be refunded to the applicants of different categories who had deposited the full amount, which was later reduced by the state government.
The major category among the claimants comprises the people whose plots and properties were registered before 1995 and were later exempted from the process.
The composition charges of residential properties within the municipal limits were also reduced from `12.5 per square ft to Rs 5 square ft vide notification dated 05-11-2013 and, under the same notification, rates of industrial as well as commercial buildings were halved by the government.
"Abiding by the government's directives, I deposited the fee with the municipal corporation on earlier dates. What is my fault in it? Since then, I have made several visits to the office of the MC to seek my refund, which amounts to be over Rs 50,000, but nobody gives me any satisfactory reply," said Balwinder Singh, a local resident.
"MC officials are saying that the amount would be returned only after a refund policy is notified by the government, which is not there so far. Earlier, we stood in queues to submit the fees, now we are paying regular visits to the MC office to get the amount refunded. It appears that I am being penalised for depositing the amount in time," said Parvesh Kumar, another resident.
With a large number of applications received by the MC and the shortage of staff, the officials have not sorted or categorised the applications so far, inside MC sources revealed, adding that, "most of the staff were posted in the arrangement of kabaddi matches and NRI sammelan. How can we clear our pending works?"
MC Commissioner Manprit Singh Chattwal says, "We were hoping another extension of the deadline for regularisation without penalty earlier. Now it is over on December 31. We have not received any application for refund so far. Within a fortnight, we will start the procedure of refunding the money to all the applicants after scrutinising the claims.