The UT estate office has formed a probe team to investigate the matter pertaining to showrooms owned by the UT administration in Sector 17 which have been allegedly further sub-leased by the traders to whom the showrooms were leased out.
The estate office acted after the Hindustan Times highlighted how showrooms, which were given to traders for a nominal monthly rent of `55,000, have been further sublet at rates between `10 lakh and `20 lakh a month to multinational companies.
The team has started its probe by scanning all records, including allotment and financial transactions of all traders.
According to official records, the administration owns a total of 18 shop-cum-offices (SCOs) in Sector 17, which were given on lease to boost trade in the city in the late 1960s. These showrooms are non-transferable and cannot be further given on rent. Each showroom is leased out for a period of five years. The lease is renewed on expiry of the period.
According to sources, the showrooms were allotted in the name of companies and there are strong possibilities that some of them have further sold the properties and the new owners are operating under same name and taxation numbers.
When contacted, assistant estate officer (AEO) Rahul Gupta said they want to look into each and every aspect to ensure that no one was violating the norms.
He further said stringent action would be taken against those found guilty.
The administration had leased out the ground floors of all 18 SCOs while second and third floors were being occupied by the Punjab government offices. Interestingly, the estate office does not have any record of allotments on second and third floor.
According to sources, the government departments are occupying the sites before 1966 and they are not even paying any rent. The authorities have now started gathering the details of all 18 sites.
Booths in Sector 22 under scanner
The estate office has also launched a similar drive in Sector 22. There are around 15 booths in Sector 22 owned by the administration which have been given on lease, which is renewed periodically, to the traders for trading purposes at very nominal rates.
"Our aim is to ensure that our properties are not being misused and are with original allottees," AEO Rahul Gupta said.