Chandigarh Estate Office ready to auction residential, commercial, institutional plots
With the long stalemate between the UT Estate Office (EO) and the UT engineering department over clearing of vegetation from vacant EO plots finally getting resolved, the decks have been cleared for EO to auction residential, commercial and institutional properties.
“We are planning to auction around 10 residential properties. In addition, there will be commercial and institutional sites on offer,” said Manish Lohan, assistant estate officer.
Last year, the Estate Office had planned to auction properties in December, but there was heavy vegetation in the plots. The EO had then written to the horticulture wing of the engineering department to clear trees and shrubs from the plots so that these could be offered free of all types of encumbrances.
In response, the horticulture wing had asked the EO to plant trees in lieu of the trees cut. For every tree cut, the EO had to plant four trees on its own land in some other location, the horticulture wing had stated.
Meanwhile, the EO officials reportedly contended that the department did not have vacant land of its own except for residential or commercial plots located in the various developed sectors of the city.
After nearly 10 months of the back and forth, the UT engineering department decided to clear the vegetation. CB Ojha, UT chief engineer, said, “We got the approval to cut the trees recently and we have started the removal of vegetation.”
Last auction had fetched double
The department had conducted its last auction in November 2019 when all of the residential properties on offer were sold, even though there were no takers for commercial and industrial plots. The department had generated a revenue close to ₹44 crore from the auction of 11 residential properties with a total reserve price of ₹27 crore.
A 1,014-square-yard (about 2 kanal) plot in Sector 33 had fetched ₹15.3 crore against a reserve price of ₹7.53 crore. All residential properties were in the southern sectors: a built-up house on a 4-marla plot in Sector 32-A went for ₹1.68 crore against a reserve price of ₹1 crore; remaining plots, priced between ₹1.25 crore and ₹7.53 crore, were in Sectors 33, 35, 37, 38, and 40.
Recently, the Chandigarh Housing Board auction of residential freehold dwelling units had also received a positive response indicating an upward trend in the city’s real estate market.
“The auction of properties is a crucial revenue generation option for the administration. Last year, after expenditure cuts were imposed by the Centre on administration spending, it was emphasised that all UT departments should improve their revenues. But, while the CHB could successfully auction its properties, the estate office has been stuck up in red-tapism,” said a UT official.