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Friday, Nov 22, 2019

CHB penalty scheme: Only 64 allottees seek exemption

Number of applicants is minuscule given that the CHB’s last year survey revealed that 90% of its 62,000 properties have structural violations

chandigarh Updated: Oct 08, 2019 00:14 IST
Hindustantimes
         

Despite widespread structural violations in thousands of residential properties, only 64 allottees have so far applied under the Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB)’s penalty scheme meant to give temporary immunity from any immediate demolition drive.

Last date to apply for the scheme was September 30.

The number of applicants is minuscule given that the CHB’s last year survey revealed that 90% of its 62,000 properties have structural violations.

The scheme was launched in July this year to give exemption up to December 31, 2020 to those who made illegal structures in the name of need-based changes and did not rectify these violations in conformity with CHB’s orders issued in February.

The scheme was triggered following the widespread protest by CHB allottees who opposed board’s demolition drive.

Board CEO Yashpal Garg said, “The purpose of the penalty scheme was to give some time to allottees to rectify these violations in accordance with the permitted need-based changes and get them regularised as per charges decided in February order. But number of applicants seeking exemption are low.”

‘Grant one-time amnesty’

President Chandigarh Housing Board Resident Welfare Federation, Rajat Malhotra said, “When allottees are not in position to remove the structural violations before December, 2020 deadline, how will they come forward to seek exemption.”

He said, “As per the board’s February order, additional construction in courtyard is just 150 square feet. But allottees have covered the entire space and practically it is not viable to remove the same since it will damage the whole property.”

He said, the only solution for now is to allow all allottees one-time general amnesty subject to structural stability of the property.

 What next?

As per the CHB officials, allottees can still seek exemption under the penalty scheme by paying higher penalty charges.

The penalty charges were between ₹50 to ₹90 per square feet per annum before September 30.

Charges have now increased by 50% from ₹75 to ₹135 per square feet per annum, said board officials.

Those not covering under it will have to face cancellation of allotment and structural demolitions

A senior official said, as per the penalty scheme, CHB holds the right to take stern action against violators. “We will now take up the matter for allotment cancellations and demolition in phased manner against violators,” he said.

  BOX Relaxations under February orders

 Additional construction of 150 sq. ft. permitted in vacant space  

Balconies, where there were none earlier, permitted

Projection over doors and windows granted

Lowering of window sills permitted

Removal of certain non-load-bearing inner walls

Provision of grills and glazing permissible

Widening of gates, car sheds allowed

Construction of additional doors allowed