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Chandigarh: Industrialists meet UT Administrator, seek swift decision on converting leasehold properties to freehold

Friday's meeting took place in the backdrop of a growing demand by local residents, and industrialists to make properties freehold so that owners can enjoy complete ownership rights.

Written by Saurabh Parashar | Chandigarh |
September 18, 2021 1:05:51 pm
Chandigarh Administrator Banwarilal Purohit (PTI)

A DELEGATION of industrialists on Friday met UT Administrator, Banwarilal Purohit, and urged him to take a prompt decision over the issue of converting lease-hold industrial, commercial units to freehold in Chandigarh. The matter is already pending adjudication before the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) since April this year.

Friday’s meeting took place in the backdrop of a growing demand by local residents, and industrialists to make properties freehold so that owners can enjoy complete ownership rights.

The delegation that met the UT Administrator on Friday included president of Chandigarh Industrial Association, MPS Chawla, teh association’s former president. Arun Mahajan, and senior industrialist, Sandeep Sahani, from the Chamber of Chandigarh Industry.

MPS Chawla said, “The Administrator has given given us a positive response after the meeting. We are hopeful that a concrete decision will be made by the Central government within one-and-half months. The decision will give a boost to the industrial sector in Chandigarh. At present, as per the leasehold process, the time period of leasehold is 99 years. So far, industrialists in Chandigarh have completed merely 45 to 50 years of the leasehold period.”

The industrial and business community of Chandigarh has been demanding the right to own properties to avail the facility of expansion and getting loans from banks. A member of the industrial association said, “More than 5,000 owners of industry and commercial properties will able to get the ownership rights if the Central government approves the recommendations of the UT administration. Around 70 per cent commercial and industrial plots in Chandigarh are leasehold, allowing occupation for a limited period, mostly 99 years.”

The complete ownership rights in the case of leasehold properties are with the agencies, including UT Estate Office, Municipal Corporation, and Chandigarh Housing Board. The freehold status gives owners complete right of their property.

Chandigarh Apartment Act, 2001:

A section of the society has demanded that The Chandigarh Apartment Act, 2001 can be reintroduced in Chandigarh with a new notification.
Kamaljit Panchhi, a businessman dealing in real estate, said, “The Act was introduced in the city due to lack of space and a steep rise in prices. The Act ensures that the public can only buy floor wise accommodation.

The Apartment Act should be tweaked from 4 marla to 1 kanal houses, at least, contrary to covering the entire city. Proper ownership rights will be mentioned in the registration of floor sale deeds.”

However, the move has been opposed by another section, which says that the implementation of The Apartment Act, 2001, will harm the real character of Chandigarh.

RC Mittal, a real estate giant, says, “The implementation of Apartment Act in Chandigarh will be a windfall to people who own independent houses, with additional residential accommodation on multiple floors.

Even in the most affluent areas of the city, selling apartments by floor will be simple. However, I would say that there are chances that Chandigarh might lose its unique architecture, and we should work towards preserving it. The way out is that the Administration should promote residential zones on the outskirts of the city.”

On Thursday, the UT administration had informed the Punjab and Haryana High Court that 891 properties were sold outside the family in Chandigarh between August 2016 and December, 2018. These 891 properties were divided in 50 per cent, 30 per cent, and 20 per cent shares. In Chandigarh, the sale of residential property is not allowed to anyone outside the family. The Apartment Act, 2001, which was once implemented and later stayed, allows the floor wise sale to any individual.

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