Stuck due to pandemic and red tape for nearly two years, Chandigarh Housing Board’s self-financing general housing scheme at IT Park may finally get going by December this year.
Pushing the project forward, UT administrator Banwarilal Purohit has accorded it wildlife clearance and sent the file to the Union ministry of environment, forest and climate change for final approval.
Confirming this, CHB chief executive officer (CEO) Yashpal Garg said the final wildlife clearance from the central government was expected by November. “Even the environment clearance is expected within a week’s time. So, we are hoping to launch the scheme by mid-December,” he said.
Once the scheme is launched, CHB will float tenders for construction of the flats. After allotment of tender, the construction work is expected to take at least 18 months for completion.
The scheme, featuring 728 flats in three categories, was first approved by the CHB board of directors in December 2020.
Classified into 28 four-bedroom, 448 three-bedroom and 252 two-bedroom flats, which will come up in seven-storey towers, the scheme has been planned on two IT Park plots, measuring 10.51 and 6.43 acres.
The towers will have two basements with the provision of parking of two cars for each flat in addition to surface parking for visitors.
Though the exact rates of flats are yet to be decided, the cost of a four-bedroom flat is expected to be ₹2.75 crore, ₹1.9 crore for the three-bedroom flat and ₹1.3 crore for the two-bedroom flat – all steeper than the last general housing scheme in Sector 53 that had to be scrapped due to poor public response.
The 16-acre land for the IT Park project is part of the 123 acres that CHB retrieved from Parsvnath Developers in 2015 after a long-drawn legal battle.
Under the Sector 53 general housing scheme, CHB had received only 178 applications against the 492 flats on offer.
Touted as the most expensive public housing project in the city’s history, the scheme had offered three-bedroom flats for ₹1.8 crore, two-bedroom flats for ₹1.5 crore and one-bedroom flat for ₹95 lakh. Even after the board slashed the proposed rates by 15% to attract more buyers, the response did not improve.
CHB’s attempt to auction 18 residential and commercial sites at IT Park in 2018 also did not attract many developers, again due to high reserve prices. The board had then decided to launch a self-financing general housing scheme on its own.
Recently, CHB also gave a two-month ultimatum to the Punjab and Haryana governments, PGIMER, and UT administration to deposit the 25% earnest money for the high-ends flats for MLAs and officials, failing which the offer will be withdrawn.
The project has been planned on 6.73 of the 123 acres at IT Park. The board plans to construct 10 towers with 28 flats, each having a base price of ₹2 crore.
In September 2019, CHB had sought opinions of Punjab and Haryana governments regarding these flats for their officials. Additionally, PGIMER had also expressed willingness to buy the flats. All three agencies are expected to pay ₹66 crore each for their share of flats.
But despite reminders, neither the state governments nor PGIMER and the UT administration have paid the upfront money.