Citing example of scheme for ‘urban poor’, Chandigarh councillors seek housing for themselves

In the Budget meeting on Friday, BJP councillors proposed to keep a provision of Rs 3 crore fund for this housing scheme as of now, which may be later enhanced as the work progresses.

GIVING THE example of the Government of India’s ‘Housing for all’ project — which is meant for ‘urban poor’ — Chandigarh councillors have now proposed housing for themselves, officers and employees of the civic body.

In the Budget meeting on Friday, BJP councillors proposed to keep a provision of Rs 3 crore fund for this housing scheme as of now, which may be later enhanced as the work progresses.

BJP councillor Shakti Devshali, who had proposed this in the House, while speaking to The Indian Express, said, “When Government of India is assuring housing for all, then why not we people? Let’s have a housing scheme for councillors, employees and officials of the municipal corporation too who are rendering selfless service to people.”

He added, “And it can be a self-financed scheme. Can be on basis of collector rates. Things can be chalked out. We have proposed that at present, Rs 3 crore be kept initially for our housing in the capital fund and then when need arises, it will be enhanced.”

Officers have been asked to look for land now and priority is municipal corporation land first, which runs in crores. BJP councillor Jagtar Singh Jagga said there is plenty of land in Manimajra that belongs to the MC and is vacant. Mayor Sharma also agreed to BJP councillors’ demand and assured to keep the provision in Budget and start work immediately.

“We will see if we don’t get our own MC land…we will seek land from administration. It will be on rates less than market rates. We can have separate towers in the housing scheme– one BHK can be for EWS, peons and one tower can be for officers and one for councillors…so on,” Devshali said.

Asked that with councillors changing every five years, how will MC manage, he said, “It can be sorted out. The councillors who haven’t availed government scheme’s in the past can avail this.”

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