Amid opposition, Chandigarh Housing Board mulls changes in need-based policy : The Tribune India

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Amid opposition, Chandigarh Housing Board mulls changes in need-based policy

Coming board meet likely to address concerns of 67K allottees

Amid opposition, Chandigarh Housing Board mulls changes in need-based policy

Chandigarh Housing Board houses in Sector 41. Pradeep Tewari



Tribune News Service

Dushyant Singh Pundir

Chandigarh, December 5

Following representations from the representatives of various political and non-political organisations, the Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB) is again contemplating amending its need-based policy.

Occupants of the dwelling units of the board have been opposing the notification issued by the CHB in January 2023, claiming it reverses previous relaxations and categorises these as violations. The board had revised its need-based policy five times since 2010.

A member of the Board of Directors of the CHB said the coming meeting of the Board scheduled to be held in the third week of December was likely to address the concerns raised by the allottees of 67,000 houses of the CHB. He stated that they had received representations from various organisations to allow more relaxations on need-based changes in the dwelling units.

The latest policy, implemented in January 2023, is under scrutiny for not covering previous need-based changes and withdrawing many relaxations. The issue would be reconsidered during the board meeting, added the member.

Allottees of the CHB houses have been demanding a complete withdrawal of the policy notified on January 3 and the formulation of a comprehensive need-based one.

The latest policy prohibits construction in front of MIG duplex flats and extra room on the first floor in duplex ones. Approximately 55,000 of the 62,000 dwelling units have violations, including additional rooms, converted balconies, covered courtyards, etc.

The first need-based policy was notified on March 23, 2010, and further on July 7, 2015, February 18, 2016, February 15, 2019, and on January 3 this year.

In the policies notified in 2010, 2015, and 2016, the board had allowed the construction of a projection/balcony in front of MIG duplex flats with pillars below. However, this was rejected in the policies of 2019 and 2023 and is termed a violation now.

Similarly, the CHB had allowed the construction of an extra room on the first floor in duplex flats over the roof of the proposed ground floor room in the policies of 2010, 2015, 2016 and 2019, but it was forbidden for residents of Sector 41-A.

After issuing the final notice, the CHB put on hold the demolition of violations in dwelling units at Sector 41-A in October, till further orders.

Coming down heavily on additional constructions carried out in duplex houses at Sector 41-A, on September 27, the CHB had directed the allottees to remove the violations and rectify their units within 10 days, failing which a demolition drive was to be undertaken at the risk and cost of the persons concerned.

However, residents of duplex houses stated that the CHB itself allowed certain need-based changes from time to time, but later withdrew the same.

Members of the LIG (U) Duplex Complex Welfare Society said they had challenged the CHB’s action in the Punjab and Haryana High Court and the case was still going on.

The members said the High Court had categorically stated that before initiating any action, structural safety of each individual unit should be certified, followed by identification of compoundable need-based changes on an individual basis of first and second floor of the houses. The CHB had not undertaken any survey to certify the structural safety of the flats. It had just measured need-based changes of the flats. As such, the public notice issued by it, they added.

They further claimed the CHB itself allowed need-based changes from time to time. But later, these changes were withdrawn, which stood challenged in the HC, they added.

Why present policy under scrutiny

The present policy, implemented in January 2023, is under scrutiny for not covering previous need-based changes and withdrawing many relaxations. The issue would be reconsidered during the board meeting, said a member of the Board of Directors.

Relaxations notified, withdrawn later

  • In the policies notified in 2010, 2015 and 2016, the board had allowed the construction of a projection/balcony in front of MIG duplex flats with pillars below. However, this was rejected in the policies of 2019 and 2023 and is termed a violation now.
  • The CHB had allowed an extra room on the first floor in duplex flats over the roof of the proposed ground floor room in the policies of 2010, 2015, 2016 and 2019, but it was forbidden for residents of Sector 41-A.

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