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A day after the Chandigrh administration notified charges for conversion of properties from leasehold to freehold, Congress leader Pawan Kumar Bansal condemned the decision and termed the “exorbitant rates a means to fleece the people of Chandigarh”. “For three years, the UT did nothing on the issue and now has clamped an absurd decision for calculating the conversion charges by raising land rate from Rs 1,710 per sq metre to the prevailing collector rates that is upto 55 times or say 5500 per cent. The collector rates at present are between Rs 84,000 and Rs 93,000 per square metre,” he said.
According to the approved charges, a low-income group (LIG) flat owner in the city will have to shell out at least Rs 2.11 lakh for getting his flat converted from leasehold to freehold. Bansal said the amount should go up to Rs 58.75 lakh for one-kanal plot, Rs 1.5 crore for two-kanal and Rs 2.82 crore for a three-kanal plot under Chandigarh Conversion of Residential Leasehold Land Tenure into Freehold Land Tenure Rules, 1996.
“Do the authorities even have an iota of idea what they have done? Can they justify what made them raise the rates as per the prevailing collector rates?”, he said. Bansal said, residents have already paid up huge amount as annual rent besides the original price of the plot which was comparable to the price of free hold plot of the same size.
In the circumstances, the administration should immediately rollback the decision and re fix the land rate under the scheme to not more than double the existing rates of Rs 1,710 per square meter, Bansal said.