UT move to redensify Phase I sectors could hit Bansal wall

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The UT Administration in its draft Master Plan might be proposing redensification of the first phase sectors and introduction of the Apartment Act, but local MP and Union Minister for Railways Pawan Kumar Bansal has expressed his reservation.

Bansal Sunday stated that the basic character of the first phase sectors should not be tampered with. "Changes that have to be brought should be in the second and third phases," he opined.

Bansal said that Phase I reflects the basic character of the city as designed by its creators. "I do not agree with the idea of allowing flats to be built in the first phase sectors. If a family residing in this area has to divide the property equally amongst the children, then it is not necessary that they have to build houses on the same piece of land. They could sell the property and get separate houses elsewhere."

The first phase from Sectors 1 to 30 were the ones that were designed by Le Corbusier. Redensification of the first phase sectors would entail changing single-storey houses to multilevel houses.

Initially redensification in case of government houses has been proposed. As per the recommendations of the Master Plan committee, with redensification the number of government houses would be increased from 11,063 to 17,723 units.

Another proposal by the committee is to re-introduction the Apartment Act, which would entail sub division of residential plots of 1,000 sq yard and above into two dwelling units on each floor.

Bansal, meanwhile stated that there is a need to keep pace with the changing times. "There has to be change with continuity. However, the basic character of Phase I sectors should be maintained. In Phase II and III sectors we can allow changes," he said.

Chandigarh being a landlocked city, there is a problem of lack of space. The Master Plan committee has recommended that in Phase I sectors, the bigger plots can be divided. However, the committee has recommended that Sectors 1 to 7 be kept out of the purview of redensification. For phase II and III sectors, it has been proposed in the plots that are vacant, multilevel houses be constructed instead of allotting plots.

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