Chandigarh: The Punjab Cabinet, chaired by Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh, on Wednesday paved the way for the notification of the Affordable Colony Policy – 2018 to facilitate affordable housing for lower income groups, thereby also checking the mushroom growth of unauthorised colonies.
With most unauthorized colonies found to have small sized plots that are normally purchased by Economically Weaker Section (EWS) and Lower Income Group (LIG), the state government had decided to relax certain provisions in approved colonies, including relaxation in saleable area, FAR etc., with the aim to make plots available to the common man on affordable rates.
The cabinet has now given its nod to the new policy, aimed at offering higher density and Floor Area Ratio (FAR) to the promoters who were keen to develop an affordable colony, according to an official spokesperson.
The new policy has proposed rebate in rates pertaining to Change of Land Use (CLU), External Development Charges (EDC) and License Fee (LF) to enable construction of the maximum possible number of flats over an acre of land. This would help makes these available to the lower income groups on affordable price. Plot sizes in such colonies shall be maximum up to 125 sq. yards and their average size shall not exceed 100 sq. yard.
Under the policy, a maximum of five acres of land would be required to carve out an affordable colony in all the Master Plans of the state, except SAS Nagar and New Chandigarh Master Plans, wherein any activity to set up a colony is only allowed to be undertaken as per the provisions of the approved master plans.
The policy proposes plotted, flatted and a mix of plotted and flatted development by the promoters. It also envisages the maximum saleable area for the flats at 65% of the total project, as against the existing 50%, which would come as a major relief to builders. Similarly, under the flatted development on roads of 40 to 80 feet and above, an FAR of 1:2 to 1:3 has been proposed. Parking norms for the dwelling units have also been relaxed.
As per a recent inventory, there are approximately 8,000 unauthorized colonies having about 40,000 acres of land, which have come up without permission from the competent authority in a haphazard manner and are devoid of basic facilities such as water supply, sewerage etc. The mushrooming of unauthorized colonies has been found to be directly linked to non-availability of affordable housing for the lower and middle income groups.