The UT as of now has to submit a proposal related to reducing building misuse charges before the ministry. The traders had even moved the Punjab and Haryana high court on the issue.
A senior official said the matter pertains to amendment in the Capital of Punjab (Development and Regulations) Act, 1952, to incorporate provisions for revision of penalty to be imposed in case of building violations and misuse of premises in Chandigarh, which was referred to the ministry in 2018. After a recent meeting of senior officials, the matter was again referred to the ministry with the request that the earlier proposal of the administration sent in March 2015 by the then UT finance secretary. In the proposal, it was proposed that penalty amount be decided by the UT administrator acting on behalf of the President of India from time to time may kindly be accepted. The reply from MHA is still awaited, he added.
In 2019, the administration had proposed to link misuse and violation charges of residential, commercial and industrial properties with lowest collector rates in a minor relief for residents. The administration had forwarded the proposal to the ministry for approval.
The administration had finalised 0.75% of collector rate as misuse charges (per square feet per month) and 0.50% of collector rate as violation charges (per square feet per month). In both (misuse and violation) sections, the collector rate would be minimum in the category-—residential, commercial and industrial.
For example, if a trader has misused his property in Sector 17 and the collector rate of Sector 45 was lowest in the city, the administration would calculate the penalty on the collector rate of Sector 45 and not of Sector
17. At the moment, the administration is charging a penalty ranging from Rs 225 per square feet per month to Rs 355 per square feet per month for different types of properties.
The estate office had increased the penalties for misuse and violations of building bylaws in 2007 from Rs 10 to Rs 500 per sq feet per month for the area being misused by the occupier. Later, the administration started sending notices under the new rules, which triggered panic among property owners as the amount of penalties ran in crores in many cases.