Chandigarh fails to decide on transfer of leasehold flats; flat owners in group housing societies sufferhttps://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/chandigarh-fails-to-decide-on-transfer-of-leasehold-flats-flat-owners-in-group-housing-societies-suffer/

Chandigarh fails to decide on transfer of leasehold flats; flat owners in group housing societies suffer

The finance department in 2013 had issued directions for not converting leasehold flats into freehold until the new rates for conversion were decided.

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A group housing society in Chandigarh. (Express Archives)

THE CHANDIGARH Administration has been ignoring the demand of flat owners in group housing societies and dragging its feet over taking any decision on transfer of leasehold flats.

The administration used to allow conversion of leasehold property into freehold under the scheme of Chandigarh Conversion of Residential Leasehold Land Tenure Into Freehold Tenure, Rules 1996. The policy, however, has been lying in abeyance for the last many years for review of conversion rate.

The finance department in 2013 had issued directions for not converting leasehold flats into freehold until the new rates for conversion were decided. The registrar (co-operative societies) vide order issued on January 7, 2014, imposed embargo on transfer of leasehold flats with a condition that such flats could be transferred only after getting them converted into freehold. To date, neither the new rates have been decided nor embargo on transfer of leasehold has been lifted. Earlier, the administration used to charge Rs 1,710 per square yard as conversion fee.
In the city there are a total of 112 group housing societies having over 15,000 flats in sectors 48, 49, 50 and 51. Out of the total, only 35 societies have been constructed on the land allotted on a freehold basis.

The Group Housing Cooperative Societies Welfare Council has been at loggerheads with the administration over the issue for the past few years. A delegation of the council had met UT Adviser Vijay Kumar Dev in June this year, who had assured to resolve the issue by convening a meeting of officials.

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When contacted, joint registrar (co-operative societies) S K Jain said that no decision had been taken on new rates. He refused to commit on time required to complete the process. “At present, the case is still under consideration,” he said.

Lashing out at the administration, Group Housing Cooperative Societies Welfare Council chairman Satish Chandra Sharma said that the lax approach of the authorities had made it evident that they were not concerned with the welfare of people. “They are sitting over the case without any valid reason,” he said, adding that the administration had started to put on hold transfer of freehold flats on frivolous grounds.

The council also complains that the residents of group housing societies are being deprived of basic and estate services within the premises of the societies by the administration.

The council claims that the internal development in the societies is to be done by the administration and it was approved by the finance department and communicated to the chairman, Chandigarh Housing Board, on May 17, 1994, for implementation, but no action has been taken to date.