In a relief to city residents, Chandigarh administration will resume transferring of leasehold residential properties to freehold at old rates, till the new rates are decided.
While interacting with media persons at Chandigarh Press Club, UT adviser Vijay Kumar Dev on Friday clarified that transfer of leasehold properties will resume at old rates. “Rules are very clear. Till the new new rates are not determined, rates which are in force will be applicable. The properties will be transferred on the existing rates and this is our top most priority,” said the adviser.
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The administration used to allow conversion of leasehold property into freehold under the scheme of Chandigarh Conversion of Residential Leasehold Land Tenure Into Freehold Tenure, Rules, 1996. The policy, however, has been lying in abeyance for the past many years for review of conversion rate.
The finance department in 2013 had issued directions for not converting leasehold flats into freehold until the new rates for conversion were decided. Earlier, the administration used to charge Rs 1,710 per square yard as conversion fee. In the city, there are a total of 112 group housing societies, having over 15,000 flats in sectors 48, 49, 50 and 51. Out of these, only 35 societies have been constructed on the land allotted on a freehold basis. There are a total of 64,000 dwelling units of Chandigarh Housing Board, of which around 40,000 have been allotted on leasehold basis.
UT to crack whip on unrecognised schools
Taking note of several unrecognised schools running in different parts of the city, the administration has initiated the process of shutting these down. The education department has carried out a survey to identity such schools. To ensure that the students studying in these schools are not affected, the education department has been directed to accommodate them. “Each and every student will be adjusted in government schools before closing down the unrecognised schools,” said Vijay Dev.
Ensuring time-bound delivery of services
If all goes according to the plans of the administration, officials will be penalised for not delivering services on time. This provision has been incorporated in the citizen charter framed by the administration. The charter is pending with the Ministry of Home Affairs for approval. Vijay Dev said that time-bound service delivery and feedback on complaints were some of the key features of the citizen charter.
Discussion on Budget allocation
Vijay Dev said that the Budget allocation by the central government for the next financial year was on the basis of various factors. The developed cities get less budget as compared to states or UT which are in developing stage, according to Dev. “Chandigarh has attained a particular level of development as budget is allocated accordingly,” said Vijay Dev. He added that Andaman and Nicobar Islands was given three times more budget then Chandigarh as it was still in the developing phase.
Adviser promises support to MC
Despite not being happy with the functioning of the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation, the adviser promised to provide it complete support for carrying out various development work. He said, “We understand how elected representatives function. They have their own compulsions. Despite everything, the administration is committed in supporting the civic body in every aspect.”
Villages to get infrastructure boost
Unchecked, unplanned and haphazard urbanisation has become a common feature of all the villages in Chandigarh. There are a total of 23 villages in Chandigarh, of which nine are under control of Chandigarh Municipal Corporation. The administration has prepared a plan for improving health and education infrastructure in villages. Giving details, the adviser said that the plan was to build hospitals and schools in villages so that the pressure on existing infrastructure in sectors was reduced.
Inter-department transfer policy
With an aim to bring transparency and check red-tapism and ineffective functioning of different departments, the administration is all set to implement inter-department transfer policy. Acknowledging the problem, the adviser said that the officials, especially the ones at the lower levels, serving in the Chandigarh administration, stayed in one department for long periods, which generated a lot of problems. “Due to long stay in one department, officials develop vested interests. They sit over files causing delay and inconvenience to general public,” said Vijay Dev. He said that the policy will be implemented by April.