cities

Chandigarh Apartment Rules and the furore behind it

The notification was repealed when a section of early settlers in Chandigarh found it against the basic character of the city and appealed against it to the then top leaders of the Central government in Delhi in 2007.

The Chandigarh Apartment Rules, 2001, were notified and implemented in Chandigarh in 2001. J F R Jacob was then UT Administrator and Governor of Punjab. The rules allowed the sale and construction of houses floor-wise giving the ownership to individuals floor-wise. The notification was repealed when a section of early settlers in Chandigarh found it against the basic character of the city and appealed against it to the then top leaders of the Central government in Delhi in 2007.

What the Chandigarh Apartment Rules, 2001, say?
As per the Chandigarh Apartment Rules, 2001, every building is subject to the provisions of the Capital or Punjab (Development and Regulation) Act, 1952, and separate and independent units can be made in accordance with these rules. Each such sub-division of a building shall be recognized as a distinct, identifiable property to which the owner/lessee shall have title along with proportionate rights in the declared common areas and common facilities. Each sub-division along with common areas, common facilities, rights of access easements and other ownership rights shall constitute a single, distinct identified, property which may be used, transferred or disposed by the owner/lessees in accordance with the applicable law and rules. A building may be sub-divided through a declaration made by the owners/lessees to the estate officer in the prescribed form (Form- D). The estate officer shall, if he is satisfied with the completeness and correctness of information provided with the declaration and after, having the building inspected, if necessary, recognise the sub-divisions of the building and the owners/lessees thereof, upon payment of such fee as may be notified by the Administration from time to time. The rules say any residential building situated on a plot size of less than 1,400 square yards may be sub-divided into separate dwelling units with not more than one dwelling unit on each floor of title building. All such dwelling units shall constitute a sub-division.

Why is the implementation of the rules being opposed?
As per the earlier settlers, who are opposing the Apartment Rules, 2001, the implementation will kill the basic structure of Chandigarh. Senior Advocate M L Sarin, a strong voice against the rules, says, “Chandigarh was meant for a population of 5 lakh people. Today, the population is around 11 lakh. And if The Apartment Rules, 2001, are implemented giving the right to people to construct floor-wise houses and sell to the people, the population in Chandigarh will explode. The governments, administration can develop so many Chandigarhs but it should not hamper/kill the original Chandigarh.”
Advocate Ajay Jagga said, “The rules will allow realtors, building developers to turn the city into a concrete jungle. There will be chaos all around. Traffic will explode, pollution will increase.”

What difference did The Chandigarh Apartment Rules, 2001, make?
At present, residential properties, except for dwelling units constructed by Chandigarh Housing Board, Group Housing Societies etc, were divided on the basis of percentage of share. Normally, the ground floor consists of 50 per cent share of the total property, first floor considered to be 30 per cent and second floor (the roof) considered 20 per cent of the share of total property. As per rules applicable in Chandigarh, the sale of share within the family is permissible but cannot be sold outside the family. The rules will allow people to sell their portion of houses floor-wise giving the ownership floor-wise instead of share-wise. The rules will allow people to sell their properties to anyone outside their family.

Who are in favour of Apartment Rules?
There are certain Residents Welfare Associations, businessman unions, lawyers who are in favour of implementation of The Chandigarh Apartment Rules, 2001 in Chandigarh. Advocate Vivek Singla practising at the Punjab and Haryana High Court says, “There is no harm in implementing The Apartment Rules, 2001, in Chandigarh. There are merely a small group of people, who are opposing these rules. People, who are opposing these rules, have no legal backing, strong grounds. People have the right to sell their properties to anyone, following the rules and regulations.

What is the stance of the Chandigarh Administration?
An official with UT estate office says, “Since 2007 when the The Chandigarh Apartment Rules, 2001, were repealed, we have not allowed the floor-wise registry in Chandigarh. Recently, the Punjab and Haryana High Court had asked us to submit a report about how many properties were sold outside the family in Chandigarh between August 2016 and 2018.The matter is sub judice.”

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