Buying Dream Cottage in Himachal May get Tougher
Shimla: Buying an ultra-luxury cottage or a flat in the idyllic settings of Himachal Pradesh will get tougher and costlier if the state government accepts a commission's report recommending scrapping of the Himachal Pradesh Apartment and Property Regulation Act of 2005.
The Act was brought into place by the previous Congress government and enables builders to construct and sell flats in various categories.
Probing 'benami' or illegal land transactions in the state, the commission headed by Justice D.P. Sood, a former judge of the Himachal Pradesh High Court, in his report tabled in the assembly last week recommended to the government that the act be immediately withdrawn.
"Builders are creating concrete jungles and spoiling the natural forested environment of the state. Since the government lacks manpower to check and monitor each and every construction activity, the act should be withdrawn. The demand of Himachalis (to own a flat) can be easily met by HIMUDA (Himachal Pradesh Urban Development Authority); hence no private player should be allowed," Sood said in his 147-page report.
Representatives of real estate say if the recommendation of the commission is accepted, the construction of new cottages and flats will virtually come to a halt while demand remains high.
Sood observed that the basic purpose of the act has been violated since it came into being in 2005.
"It was enacted with the purpose of setting up housing complexes in the state consisting of 20 dwelling units for the labour class within a radius of 10 km of an established industrial area. But permission under the act has been given indiscriminately," he said.
As many as 173 builders and promoters have been issued licences by the government to construct apartments, cottages and dwelling units.