The ongoing global economic meltdown,coupled with confusion over the terms and condition of the auction,severely hit the Municipal Corporation on Thursday as none of its sites for shop-cum-offices (SCOs) in Manimajra went under the hammer.
The auction generated such poor response that only eight to ten people turned up for the listed eight sites. Of these attendants,four belonged to one family. The reserve price of the eight sites was around Rs 10 crore per site.
Officials said that people who turned up for the auction wanted changes in the terms and conditions. They demanded the removal of the clause which mentions that the auctioned property cannot be sold for 15 years. The prospective buyers reasoned that the Estate office had also done so during an auction on December 18,2007 and the MC should follow suit.
The auction of Manimajra SCOs has been encountering one problem or the other. While earlier it waited for the Administrations approval,the auction had to be postponed later after the Estate Office decided to hold auction of commercial sites a few days before the MCs auction. It was felt that two auctions at such close intervals would not generate a good response.
The councillors had taken up the issue of SCOs auction during a House Meet a few months ago. They had demanded changes in the period of payment. At present,the payment has to be made within 90 days and the councillors demanded that the period be increased to three to four years in view of the global recession at present.
A representation for the same has already been given by the Chandigarh Citizens Council to the UT Administrator. It has also been demanded that the sale of the auctioned sites should be allowed and people should not be made to wait for 15 years.
A councillor said that the MC failed to sell the sites because of its policies and poor publicity. Even though the SCOs are located in prime locations,the response has been poor.