Chandigarh Housing proposes project in hills, Himachal Board may dispose it

October 06, 2017 02:23 PM

Punjab News Express/Y.S.Rana
CHANDIGARH: As the Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB) has decided to go uphill for its housing projects, the experts here say otherwise. Bankrupt Board is on a diet. Starved of funds and choosing to be tightfisted rather than popular, the Chandigarh Administration finds it difficult to place it on a track of self-sufficient that could hit expansion plans of the Board.

This bankrupt board is struggling to stay on board. The story of portents is grim in dealing with a cracking system, warped priority on sources generation and statistical sleight of hand that drained its treasury. Seeing a bleak future, the Board has decided to go uphill to have projects in Himachal Pradesh, moving first time outside the city.

Soon it will have properties in Mullanpur (Punjab) and Kandaghat and Solan in Himachal Pradesh.  Owing to no scope for further expand in the city due to non-availability of land for housing projects. The Board is developing a housing project in Mullanpur, also known as New Chandigarh. But housing project by CHB in Himachal Pradesh has raised an eye brow where acquire of land is restricted to its residents.                                                  
Outlining the broad contours of the project,  Maninder Singh, Chairman, CHB said that consultant for the project has already been finalized and he would submit his report on feasibility of the scheme.  He further stated that there would not be any legal hitch and would be the first time that Board was going outside Chandigarh because of limited scope to expand in the city due to non-availability of land, vertical restrictions and maintenance of heritage present survival, the CHB has been looking for land in the adjoining states—Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh                                                            

He further revealed that the scheme would not be of affordable houses as the Board would not construct EWS and LIG houses. The Board revealed that it had found lands in adjoining states of Punjab and Himachal Pradesh that can offer housing at affordable rate without limitations. Sixty acres of land has been offered at Kandaghat and it will be bought directly from the land owners without land acquisitions. The scheme is opened for all and not restricted to Chandigarh residents.

Mr Singh also stated that still location has not been finalized and so far no initial work on the scheme has been started. Storey of flats will depend on the size of the land chunk. Large chunk of land, minimum storey of flats, he says.  He also disclosed that the housing scheme in Mullanpur would be closer to PGI and Sarangpur. The types and number of flats were yet to be decided. He said, "We can go up to 14 storeys and above outside Chandigarh. We can offer many flats and reduce the rates further."

 While reaching out Dinesh Kashyap, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Himachal Housing Board, Shimla on phone clearly stated that rules would not permit such housing project by outsider housing board. “There are a legal hassels and every housing board has its jurisdiction of operation which cannot be violated and added project would face equipping the transmission and distribution of electricity, supply of drinking water, management of wastes generated by the project and registration of land and its ownership.  

When asked if going outside Chandigarh was due to high collector rates as compared to the adjoining states, the chairman said, "The rates are not an issue as eventually the collector rate is a very small part of the total cost of the project." But in case of Himachal Pradesh where land and construction would be very high compared to Chandigarh and Punjab, the Board would not construct affordable flats.

Due to many fraudulent property dealers, it is expected that buyers will rely on the CHB. "People often fall into the trap of grey market during investments when they are looking for flats in Himachal Pradesh. But they rely on our deliverance," he said.

At a time when the real estate business has nosedived, will there be buyers for such houses?  He was hopeful that number of buyers would come forward. "It is a challenge. But we came up with the Sector 51 scheme at a time when the market was floundering and the bids went as high as Rs 78.5 lakhs for a 2BHK," said Maninder.

Though the location of these projects is tempting, lack of basic amenities, like water and electricity, can be a hitch. "Gensets can be provided and the residents' welfare association will be handed over the flats for maintenance," Singh added. The scheme will be public-private partnership (PPP) mode and it will be on revenue sharing basis. Maintenance of the complex would be handed over to the residents welfare associations, he said and added that waste management inside the complex would be the responsibility of the project owners. Electricity will be provided from the government grid, he says.

It is also stated that Board has recently invited expression from interested landowners and Board is interested in a landowner who has big chunk of land. Over 60 bigha of land has been offered to the Board in Kandaghat, reveals the sources.  The consultants would prepare the feasibility report to the Board.                        T

he decision to have project outside city has been prompted by the no scope of land availability in Chandigarh. While talking to some experts, they have given a dissent note and did not hope much from the project. Mr G.C. Dhadwal said that it would attract legal hassle as ‘no outsider is allowed to purchase land in Himachal Pradesh.   

While around 826 housing projects across the country are facing brunt of delays of upto four years, according to a survey by ASSOCHAM. As many as 3511 housing projects were running under construction and real estate till December, 2016. Of which 2304 projects were under implementation stage. Around 886 have recorded significant delays of which 826 were housing projects and 60 commercial projects said the report.
                    Punjab registered the maximum delay of 48 months in construction or completion of housing projects and real estate followed by Talangana with a 45-month delay; West Bengal, Orissa and Haryana with a 44-month delay each.
                     In such a scenario, will the housing project see the light of the day.       

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