For the past six months,building plans of several houses in citys upscale sectors are on hold for the want of approval from the UT Administrations department of Urban Planning. In fact,the Upper Committee of the Plan Approval Committee of the Administration which approves building plans of the houses above two kanal,has not sanctioned even a single building plan starting from July 2011.
While the officials of the UT Administration say that the delay is due to the fact that the Heritage Committee has recently in its report recommended not to disturb the layout plan of the city and the given FAR (Floor Area Ratio) was set to disturb the same. This was holding up all building plans. On the contrary,the applicants who have been waiting for an approval of the building plan say that since the recommendations had only come in December,why did the authorities did not approve these earlier. The UT Estate offices building byelaws clearly mention that any building plan has to be approved within a period of 60 days or else it is deemed to be approved.
Speaking to Chandigarh Newsline,UT Finance Secretary V K Singh,who also heads the department of Urban Planning,said,We have been grappling with the situation for some time and we cannot of course,overlook recommendations by the Heritage Committee approved by the Government of India as well. Nevertheless,we are working out to reach a consensus on this matter and within next two-three weeks the matter will be sorted out.
On the other hand,applicants whose building plans hang fire including house number 72,248,304,354 in Sector 9 and house number 79 in Sector 8. Applicants say that since their building plans were submitted before any heritage conservation committees report was received by the UT Administration,any decision taken on the matter should be implemented in prospective manner and not in retrospective. Why are we being made victims of Administrations delay or dilemma? The cost of construction has gone up in last six months,significantly,and we are suffering for no fault of ours, rued one of the applicants,whose building plan was submitted in July and awaits a clearance.
UT Chief Architect,Sumit Kaur,who is the chairperson of the Upper committee which clears the building plans of all the houses above two kanals,says,The heritage issue needs to be understood and steps have to be taken to conserve citys heritage. We all have to work together for it and for that we need public participation as well.
Tired applicants are now resorting to making use of the Right To information Act in order to know exactly who is responsible for the inordinate delay and fix accountability. It must be added that the UT Estate Office,which is the first authority where all the building plans are first submitted and the routed through,has also written several notes to the department of Urban Planning to take up the matter as many residents are arm twisting the EO with the 60 day deem approved clause of the UT Building Byelaws.