Punjab government to construct over 25,000 houses for economically weaker section – ET RealEstate

CHANDIGARH: Over 25,000 houses for the poor will be constructed in Punjab with the state cabinet on Wednesday approving a new EWS policy in this regard, an official statement said. The developers and authorities will be required to develop five per cent of the project area for the economically weaker section (EWS) housing, it said.

These buildings will be constructed in reasonably sized pockets, along with social infrastructure, such as schools, community centres and dispensaries, at convenient locations to ensure comfortable living for the beneficiaries, it said.

The residents will also be provided access to basic civic amenities.

This decision was taken during a cabinet meeting chaired by chief minister Amarinder Singh through video conferencing, according to the statement.

The houses under the new policy would be constructed with the latest brick-less technology, using services of qualified project management agencies. They will be offered to eligible families who will get affordable monthly instalment rates from banks, it said.

The policy provides for eligible applicants to furnish proof of birth in Punjab or of 10 years stay in the state from the date of application, such as Aadhaar card, copy of ration card, extract of voter list, copy of driving license, passport etc.

The family income of the applicant should not be more than Rs 3 lakh per annum from all sources, as revised by government of India or Punjab from time to time, it said.

The applicant, his spouse, minor child must not already own freehold, leasehold residential plot, dwelling unit in Punjab or Chandigarh, and the applicant would be required to self-certify on these counts, it said.

The applicant must be married and the application must be in the joint name of the husband and wife. There will be a bar on sale, gift, mortgage with possession, exchange, long lease of the allotted EWS dwelling units for a period of 15 years except within the family in case of the beneficiary’s death.

The government would fix sale price for EWS keeping in view the cost of construction of unit, proportionate cost of site development and common infrastructure such as school, community centre etc. and administrative charges which would not exceed five per cent of the total project cost.

Land cost will be taken as zero and there would be exemption from external development charges on the projects.

In 2013, the cabinet had approved a policy that made it mandatory for developers to transfer the EWS pockets free of cost to government and accordingly a notification was issued on December 31, 2013.

Subsequently, in 2016, the said policy was amended by the Cabinet Committee.

There has been general resistance to construct EWS houses within the colonies due to wide variance in life styles necessitated by economic status, as per the statement.

It was also felt that provision of social infrastructure in large number of small sized EWS scattered pockets was extremely difficult. In view of these limitations and legal issues, virtually no EWS houses have come up in the state under the government policy, it said.

To address all these issues and to see that EWS houses are actually built in the state in requisite numbers, the new policy has been framed in accordance with relevant provisions of extant law, it said.

In another decision, the cabinet gave approval to amend the Punjab Motor Vehicle Taxation Act.

This move is aimed to simplify the procedure for realisation of motor vehicle tax and its refund where applicable, the statement said.

It deals with issues like refund of lump sum tax paid in case of a motor car or motorcycle owner shifting to another state with the vehicle and ceasing to be resident of Punjab, or transfer of ownership of the vehicle to a person having residence outside Punjab, it said.

The cabinet also gave approval to the bifurcation of the common cadre of the departments of health and family welfare and medical education and research.

The move is aimed at prompt resolution of disputes arising out of the establishment matters between these two departments through separation of controlling authority and rules of both the departments, the statement said.



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By June, six states will have maps 100 times more detailed – ET RealEstate

NEW DELHI: By mid-year, six states – Haryana, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka – will have maps 100 times more detailed than existing ones. And by the end of the year, the Survey of India (SOI) will wrap up the first leg of its project to create high-resolution maps for nine states in the first national cartographic update in 16 years.

“By June, we expect to map six states. Three others, we hope to map by the end of the year,” former Surveyor General of India Lt Gen Girish Kumar (retired), who has been overseeing the project, said. The latter includes Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra. About 23,000 villages have been covered so far. The project will cover all states eventually but timelines have been difficult to estimate for the rest because of the Covid-induced gap in operations.

After Independence, official maps in India used a 1:63,000 scale (1cm on the map represented 630m on the ground) for a few years. In 1958, the scale was tightened to 1:50,000. Now, after all these years, the scale will be sharpened further to 1:500, a straight 100-fold increase in detail.

And it comes with a massive technology upgrade. So far, SOI had been using Cartosat satellites and optical devices mounted on aircraft to capture images and develop maps – those could only capture objects larger than 100m x 100m in size. Now, SOI has switched to drone-based mapping and optical airborne high-resolution satellite imagery. “We had 180 optical drones and have ordered 300 more,” Kumar said. The new maps can capture objects as small as 1m x 1m.

“It means that official maps will show everything from houses to offices and, for instance, the smallest landmark in a remote village,” an SOI official said. How would it be different from Google Maps then? “We are accountable by law. Google Maps can’t be used in a legal dispute. Besides, positional accuracy is not guaranteed by digital maps.”

The last topographical survey of India was completed in 2005. That database is still being used by all government agencies – the National Highways Authority of India, the Archaeological Survey of India, Census of India, mining, defence, and so on. An SOI official said the update is important because it will help address inter-state border disputes, flood forecasting, rural property rights, urban planning, public asset management and commercial activities around natural formations like rivers, drains, mountains or deserts.

“The focus will be dispute resolution and creation of land record databases under our programme Svamitva,” said secretary, department of science and technology secretary, Ashutosh Sharma. Besides, security agencies, police, paramilitary forces, and strategic and border security agencies will also use these detailed maps and data.



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Chandigarh housing board sends flat payment reminder – ET RealEstate

CHANDIGARH: Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB) has once again asked Punjab and Haryana governments and PGI to make the initial payment for flats for their bureaucrats and doctors in the Rs 600 crore housing scheme at IT Park following the selection of a company to prepare the design of the project.

“We have allotted the design work to a Panchkulabased company for Rs 26 lakh after a competition. A total of 24 firms had applied. All of them gave a presentation to a high-level technical committee.

The selected firm will complete the job in a given time frame. It will also provide us environmental clearance, carry out related work and remain with us till the end of the construction,” sources in CHB said.

Achieving FAR (floor area ratio), having circulation and green areas, and plans for environment-friendly project were some of the key criteria for the selection.

Around eight to 10 towers are planned at the site. The Haryana government has demanded three towers for its bureaucrats, while two towers each are kept for the Punjab government and PGI. The UT administration has also asked for a tower, but it is yet to give a final reply to the authority.

“We have given a reminder to both the state governments and PGI for the initial payment. The Haryana government payment is expected soon, but Punjab and PGI have yet to respond. All three have showed interest in the towers, however,” a senior officer said.



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Tuition centres in Ludhiana must now get NOC according to new fire norms – ET RealEstate

LUDHIANA: Keeping in view the mushrooming of coaching centres in the city, the local bodies department has issued new fire safety norms for these centres to follow. Now, the centres are divided in three categories based on the area, and the owners will have to make arrangements accordingly.

But sources said this may again remain a policy on paper if the authorities do not make an attempt to find out the exact number of tuition centres operating in the city and hold them all equally responsible.

The guidelines are notified and will be implemented in the entire state. The notification is the result of a writ petition that is being heard in Punjab and Haryana high court. Also, after the Surat coaching centre tragedy last year, the authorities were working on to bring some norms for the coaching centres.

The three categories are: coaching centres running in existing shop-cum-office and shop-cum-flat having height less than 15m, those running in standalone commercial complexes/buildings having height not more than 15m and coaching centres running in all other establishments having height more than 15m.

These norms will be applicable with immediate effect and will be implemented by the fire and town planning wings of urban local bodies. The NOC from fire department will have to be obtained by the building owner/occupants within one year for high-rise buildings (15 meters and above) and within six months for buildings having height less than 15 meters from the date of issuance of this notification. Failing which, the coaching centre will be sealed by fire wing/urban local bodies.

However, neither the fire department nor the municipal corporation (MC) have exact data on how many tuition centres are operational in the city. Not only in the commercial areas, even in residential areas many oaching centres have popped up in the recent past. There is single entry/exit in most of the buildings and fire arrangements are also insufficient.

According to the fire department, only big industrial houses, schools, hospitals and big malls are applying for fire NOC. In the last one year, the fire accidents that have occurred are mostly in places that had no fire NOC.

Advisor to Punjab fire department Bhupinder Sandhu, said, “Earlier also fire NOC was mandatory for these coaching centres, but there were no clear cut directions or norms. Now, we have divided the coaching centres in three categories.” He said all the fire officials in the state are sent this information. “Fire NOC will be issued according to new guidelines and if coaching centres or institutes will not get NOC, then local fire officials have been given the powers to seal the centre,” he added.

Meanwhile, requesting anonymity, one of the fire officials claimed that coaching centres are often located in places where changes are not possible — for example, he said, most often there is space for only one entry and exit — and they cannot force the owner to open a second entry/exit. He said these changes are possible in standalone locations only. He said fire department is going through the norms to see how the new rules can be implemented, but he insisted that it may not be possible without the support from town planning wing of the MC.

Required fire safety arrangements

Fire extinguishers required in all types of categories

First-aid hose reel

Automatic sprinkler system

Manually operated electronic fire alarm system

Automatic detection and alarm system

Underground static water storage tank



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