2008 UT Employees Housing scheme: CHB to present revised options to representatives on Nov 17

Hoping to resolve objections to the costing of the 2008 UT Employees Housing scheme, the Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB) will present two revised options to the employee representatives on November 17.

At the meeting, to be chaired by the UT adviser, employees’ views on the options – seven storey or 10-storey housing projects – will be taken. These have been devised to reduce the cost of the flats offered under the scheme.

As per the UT urban planning department, the 10-storey housing options will require amendments in the Chandigarh Master Plan -2031, which does not permit high-rise buildings.

Recently, the employees had approached the Punjab and Haryana high court on the delay by CHB in preparing the revised options.

Notably, the process to reassess and revise the cost of the project started after the August 19 meeting between UT administration officials, employee representatives and the Union ministry of home affairs (MHA) officials. The meeting was chaired by the Union home secretary to discuss all matters regarding the housing scheme.

After deliberations, it was decided that the calculation of rates be made again for different categories by applying various factors like floor area ratio, collector rate, plotted area etc., in consultation with the representatives of the petitioners.

The housing scheme for administration employees was launched in February 2008. The draw of lots for 7,827 applicants was held in November 2010. A total of 3,930 employees were declared successful and submitted Rs 57 crore.

Around 4,000 flats were planned in Sectors 52, 53 and 56.

Later, the scheme was shelved, but revived after the employees took up the matter with local MP Kirron Kher. But the MHA allowed the administration to transfer the land to CHB at the current collector rates.

This caused the apartment costs to shoot up from the earlier Rs 34.70 lakh to Rs 2.08 crore in case of 3-BHK, Rs 24.30 lakh to Rs 1.64 crore for 2-BHK and Rs 13.53 lakh to Rs 1 crore for 1-BHK. Even for EWS flats, the earlier cost of Rs 5.76 lakh was revised to Rs 50 lakh.

The employees then moved the high court alleging that CHB was charging five times the initial price for land.

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