UT employees’ housing scheme: High-rise plans, costing issues likely to come up at meeting
To be discussed: Charges applicable for plotted areas instead of the total land parcel and building the 11-storey apartment in Sector 56Updated: Aug 18, 2020, 00:31 IST
A high-rise housing complex for the city is one of the options likely to be explored by senior UT administration officials, UT employees and the Union home secretary when they meet on August 19 to discuss the long pending UT employees housing scheme.
Issues likely to be thrashed out at the meeting involve costing - whether charges will be applicable only for plotted areas instead of the total land parcel in the scheme; and that of building the 11-storey apartment blocks in Sector 56. Both options are aimed at reducing housing costs for employees since the project failed to take off earlier because potential buyers thought it was too expensive.
“All the alternatives will be discussed on August 19 with UT employee representatives and Central government officials. This includes increasing the floor area ratio (FAR) for the project. The floors can go up to 11. With increase in FAR, the housing scheme will come up only in Sector 56,” said a senior UT official requesting anonymity. Currently, project plans cover three sectors and include constructions of ground plus five floors.
Significantly, the meeting is to take place on the directions of the Punjab and Haryana high court.
A six-member committee, comprising three senior UT officials and an equal number of employee representatives, will participate in a meeting through video conferencing with the Union home secretary.
The HC had directed that the issue of costs of the self-financed housing scheme be resolved through discussions between UT officials, employees and the Central government.
Acting on a petition, the HC had directed the Union home secretary to convene a meeting with the UT adviser and the chairman of the Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB) to make efforts to resolve the issue and submit a report by the next date of hearing.
Initially fixed for August 4, the meeting had to be rescheduled to August 19. The next hearing in the case has been fixed for September 1.
Around 4,000 flats were to be built in Sectors 52, 53 and 56 by the 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 under the scheme.
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 apartment costs 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 the rates were only Rs 34.70 lakh for Category A, Rs24.30 lakh for Category B, Rs13.53 lakh for Category C and Rs5.76 lakh for Category D.
The employees then moved the high court alleging that the CHB was charging five times the initial price for land.