UT Employees’ Housing Scheme: CHB redraws plans, explores price options
Consultant hired by CHB to rework plans. ‘Unless architectural plans of all the options are prepared, we will not know how to minimise costs... or the exact costs, a senior board official has saidUpdated: Sep 07, 2020, 23:04 IST
It was an apartment scheme that fell through due to the high price tags of the units, but now the Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB) is making new drawings of the project and exploring costing options of the UT Employees’ Housing Scheme.
A consultant has been hired by CHB to rework plans, it has been revealed. “Unless architectural plans of all the options are prepared, we will not know how to minimise costs... or the exact costs,” says a senior board official who wishes to remain anonymous.
Once the drawings are complete CHB will get inputs on it from the UT urban planning department.
Process to take two weeks
The entire process is likely to be completed within two weeks, said the official. “Various elements regarding Floor Area Ratio (FAR), covered space, and density will be reworked for different options, particularly when it comes to the number of floors and other plans.”
FAR is the ratio of a building’s gross floor area to the total area of the land on which it’s built.
The move followed a meeting to discuss the housing scheme through video conferencing on August 19 under the chairmanship of the Union home secretary.
After deliberations to resolve the costing issue it was decided that costs be recalculated again for different categories by applying various factors such as FAR, collector rate, plotted area etc in consultation with the representatives of petitioners who had filed a court case related to the scheme.
FAR likely to be increased
“The options being accessed includes increasing the FAR for the project. The floors can go up to 11. Increase in FAR means the scheme will only apply to Sector 56. Also, charges will only be applicable for plotted areas instead of the total land parcel,” the official said.
Around 4,000 apartments were to be built in sectors 52, 53 and 56 by CHB for government employees as part of a scheme launched in 2008.
A draw of lots was held in 2010, in which 3,930 employees among 7,827 applicants were selected. They had then deposited around Rs 57 crore with CHB.
Later, the scheme was shelved and then revived after the employees took up the matter with city MP Kirron Kher. But the ministry of home affairs (MHA) allowed the administration to transfer the land to the CHB at the current collector rates.
With this the apartment prices shot up to Rs 50 lakh for Category D, Rs 1 crore for Category C, Rs1.64 crore for Category B and Rs2.08 crore for Category A.
When the scheme was announced prices were low at Rs 34.70 lakh for Category A, Rs 24.30 lakh for Category B, Rs 13.53 lakh for Category C and Rs 5.76 lakh for Category D.
The employees then moved the Punjab and Haryana high court alleging that the CHB was charging five times the initial price for land.