After a gap of seven years,the UT Administration is once again seriously mulling over reintroducing the conversion policy for further development of the industrial area and business park comprising Industrial Phase I,II,which was discontinued in 2008.
Sources in the UT Administration say that a detailed proposal in this regard has been prepared and the top brass of the administration is already considering it. However,officials are of the view that it could be especially kept in mind that irrespective of the dimensions of the plot,the floor area ratio (FAR) should not be allowed to be increased any further.
Already the UT Administration has in principle agreed to allow the IT and IT-enabled services in the industrial area,besides the hospitality sector which has emerged as a big favourite for those who had got their plots converted when the policy was still in practice till 2008.
Sources say that one of the biggest roadblocks in the way of reintroduction of the conversion policy is the persistent demand of the industrial associations for the implementation of the MSME Act which would enable them to start a host of trades,services without having to pay a penny.
The administration is in the process of evolving a vision for the entire industrial area in terms of a separate commercial business district. We are looking at a specific policy not just for conversion purpose but to have a consistent growth of the industrial sector instead of haphazard growth within the city limits. Since industrial area is on the outskirts of the city,out of the heritage ambit,so it is not an unachievable task, said an official on condition of anonymity.
Interestingly,the administration had introduced Chandigarh conversion of land use of industrial sites into commercial activity/services in industrial area Phases I and II scheme vide notification issued on September 19,2005. The scheme was initially floated for two years,but later extended for six months. The policy was withdrawn on March 18,2008.
The administration initially charged Rs 20,000 per square yard as conversion fee,which was enhanced to Rs 29,713 per square yard for applicants whose applications were received on or after December 18,2007. Before that,around 75 industrialists had availed themselves of the scheme on old rate by paying 10% earnest money and the balance in the form of post-dated cheques.
The administration had worked out the rate of Rs 29,713 per square yard after taking into consideration the price fetched in the last three auctions. Unhappy with the decision,an affected industrialist appealed to the administration,urging it not to charge higher conversion rate. After failing to get a favourable response,the industrialist moved the High Court to challenge the UT administrations decision on higher conversion fee.