BY VIVEK GUPTA
The Chandigarh Administration has referred the issue of converting leasehold property into freehold to the Union Ministry of Home Affairs for a final decision.
About 50 per cent properties in Industrial Area and a large number of properties in the city are leasehold and the allottees have for long been demanding their conversion into freehold.
Adviser to Administrator Vijay Dev told Newsline that the administration hoped to have the MHA’s response soon.
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Sources said that the administration referred the matter to MHA in view of a five-page note, opposing the conversion, left by former UT Administrator Shivraj Patil before leaving office in January.
Besides, Patil was of the view that the local administration was not competent to take a policy decision on the issue because the union government had sent directions to the administration in 2012 that no property should be given or sold to anybody at a price which was not on a par with the market value.
Patil also noted that there were Supreme Court and high court rulings according to which properties should not be given without auctioning them.
He further mentioned that if leasehold properties were turned into freehold, it would amount to giving ownership of properties to the leaseholders at prices which would be much less than the market price and this might become a scandal.
Sources said that the administration was in consonance with Patil’s views and, hence, the matter had been referred to the MHA.