CHANDIGARH’S INDUSTRIAL Area, known as an industrial manufacturing hub, shall now be able to take a step further into “new age business” with Chandigarh Administration on Monday allowing additional IT-enabled services, including telecom, DTD, Internet and cable operator services including telecom exchanges, back-end billing, bill printing and collection centres. Although the industrialists will not be allowed to convert the change in land use as was done from 2005 till 2007, the administration’s nod to certain additional services in Industrial Area has come as a major relief to city-based industrialists.
UT also allowed need-based changes in the industrial sites. At least 600 industrialists were served notices for carrying out modifications in their units, who now stand relieved with today’s decision. All engineering, industrial, structural testing labs, audio-visual recording studios for social media, documentation centre for industrial designing and printing; Cad/Cam design workshop, security management services have also been approved to be run from Industrial Area.
Developed in two phases, I and II, Industrial Area is spread over 1,500 acres and has 2,000 industrial units, mostly in manufacturing sector. On the pattern of automobile service stations, other kinds of service stations, all types of authorised service centres and industry and automobiles-related service and repair centres with spares and accessories have also been permitted.
Like industrial warehousing, general warehousing including general items, white goods, medical or surgical goods (medicine) have also been allowed. UT has also allowed “base-kitchen” for restaurants and outdoor caterers, but they will not be allowed to open dine-in, take-away or online restaurants. “This has given a boost to the Industrial Area to do a new-age business. Till now the focus was only on manufacturing of components for tractor industries, Railways and others but now the industry will get a chance to reinvent itself in line with the moden-day business. I am really thankful to the present dispensation and especially MP Kirron Kher who made huge efforts in getting these things approved for us,” said Pankaj Khanna, president of Industries Association of Chandigarh.
But as per the need-based changes in the architectural controls permitted now, the administration has also allowed interchangeability within the premises. Now the usage of office-cum-display block with workshop can be interchanged due to specific need of the industry, subject to compliance with building bylaws and fire norms. It was also specified that the cycle stand shall be allowed to be used for other purposes such as storage of raw material and other industry-related functions.
“In wake of theft incidents in industrial areas and requirements of industry, partial covering of central courtyard with poly carbonate sheets for storage only may be allowed adding any additional FAR, hence without charges, subject to compliance of building bylaws and fire NOC from competent authority of Municipal Corporation,” as per the draft amendment.
Industrialists had also demanded that they be permitted conversion of plots from leasehold to freehold basis, including the transfer of leasehold rights. However, on this, UT has decided to frame a policy and put forth before the Ministry of Home Affairs for final approval. “I got city its first industrial policy in 2015. Now additional activities, need-based changes and other issues are being resolved. I am hopeful that the issue of leasehold properties shall also be resolved soon. We are sending a proposal to MHA for final nod. I thank UT Administrator V P Singh Badnore,” Kirron Kher said.
The president of Chandigarh Industrial Association, M P S Chawla, said, “Transfer of leasehold to freehold had been our primary demand. I request the Administrator to kindly accept it at the earliest. Soon, code of conduct will come into force and it will again be kept in abeyance.”
First major transformation
It was in 2005, when UT Administration came out with a scheme – Chandigarh Conversion of Land Use of Industrial Sites into Commercial Activity/ Services in Industrial Area Phase-I and II, Chandigarh Scheme, 2005 – that changed the Industrial Area’s topography. Minimum 2 kanal and bigger industrial plots were covered under this scheme. High-end shopping malls, multiplexes, hospitals and hotels all made their way into the Industrial Area that was earlier considered a manufacturing hub. A number of industrialists sold off their industrial sites and the buyers got the land use changed by paying the requisite conversion fee to the Chandigarh Administration. However, the scheme that was valid for only two years has not yet been relaunched.