Year on, elevators at Chandigarh Housing Board’s costliest Sector 51 flats still inoperative
It’s been more than a year since Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB) started giving possession of its dwelling units in Sector 51, the costliest housing scheme in the city till date, but nearly 25 elevators in the four-storey project remain non-functional.
While the allottees feel cheated by the housing board and complain of hardships daily, the CHB officials blame the society’s resident welfare association (RWA) for the problem.
Covered car parking and lifts were key features of the project, and because of these, it was then the costliest ever two-bedroom flats scheme offered by CHB.
The lifts were installed a year ago, but have not been made operational for the residents’ daily use.
“But even after one year of taking possession of their respective dwelling units, the allottees are unable to use the elevators. Besides inconvenience, it is causing harassment us,” said Gurinder Pal Singh, RWA president.
Only 70 families out of the 128 allottees have shifted to the flats so far, while the remaining are waiting for the elevators to become functional, say residents.
Naresh Sehgal, a retired bank official living on the fourth floor, said, “Going downstairs to buy our daily essentials is a herculean task. What will happen to us if there is a medical emergency? Non-functional lifts pose danger to us.”
One-year AMC already exhausted
Squarely blaming CHB for the mess, Singh added, “Even after many reminders, CHB didn’t act on the same and instead asked us to arrange electric meters for the elevators. For this, we requested them to transfer the money deposited for maintenance by the allottees. CHB transferred the money to the RWA on November 10, 2020. They gave the requisite files for getting the electric meter connection in the second week of December 2020. We deposited ₹6.22 lakh for meter installation, and these were commissioned on January 2,” said Singh.
Another shocker for the residents was CHB’s claim that the annual maintenance contract (AMC) for first year had already been exhausted. “Even though we haven’t used the lifts, first year of the two-year AMC has expired. This will cause us a loss of around ₹12 lakh through renewing the AMC. We are paying for the mistakes of CHB,” said Sehgal.
“We are unable to register the RWA with the cooperative society registrar as CHB has failed to issue the required membership certificates to the allottees, as per CHB regulations,” rued Singh.
RWA reluctant to take responsibility, say officials
CHB chief executive officer Yashpal Garg said, “We have repeatedly requested the RWA to take over the common services at the society, but they have refused. This has caused delay in operationalising the elevators. CHB has completed all the pending jobs including in common services.”
On the AMC being exhausted for a year, Garg, said, “We are ready to take up the issue with the service provider, and consider even paying for it. But first, the RWA has to take over the common services, for which it has been dilly-dallying.”