BY VIVEK GUPTA
In order to find a solution to the contentious issue of “need-based changes’’, the Chandigarh Housing Board is considering the possibility of regularising changes made within the four walls of flats and houses by the allottees, without compromising the structural safety.
Addition of storeys, or structures made by encroaching on government or common land are not likely to be regularised, it is learnt.
The board had recently asked flat owners to submit requests for regularisation of “need-based changes’’, along with detailed design and layout plans by December 31, 2015. It is working on a new policy on “need-based changes’’.
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Board Chairman Maninder Singh told Newsline that a wide consensus would be built within the administration on the kind of changes which could be allowed in the dwelling units “within the four walls and allowed storey line’’.
“But it will be the responsibility of the owner to get the certificate of safety of the changes made by him from a duly recognised structural engineer and architect,” he said.
However, the board will retain the final authority to determine the safety of the structural changes. “In case we find that changes made are unsafe and affecting the safety of the building and neighbouring houses, we will take strict action against owners of such dwelling units,” he said.
Since Chandigarh is in seismic zone 4, safety of buildings is very important, he said.
The chairman said that the new policy on need-based changes would be out in two or three months, along with the compounding fee, which is being worked out by the Finance Department.
Regarding the balconies turned into rooms, which is common, he said, “If the balconies are within the four walls, the board will regularise them. But we might not allow those balconies that are projected out on the public land.’’
Professor Nirmal Dutt, chairman of CHB Residents’ Federation, said if the board regularised need-based changes within four walls and the allowed storey line, then 60 to 70 per cent dwelling units would benefit. He asked the board to take a lenient view of structures made on government land where there are one-room houses.