CITCO refuses to refund ₹9.5 crore to Chandigarh administration - Hindustan Times
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CITCO refuses to refund 9.5 crore to Chandigarh administration

By, Chandigarh
Nov 21, 2023 05:46 AM IST

In the recent meeting of Chandigarh Industrial and Tourism Development Corporation Limited, the officers decided not to refund the amount as it was the mistake of the UT administration for not clearing the drawings of the centre on time

Chandigarh Industrial and Tourism Development Corporation Limited (CITCO) has refused to refund the 9.5 crore amount to UT administration, which was given to them in 2014 for the construction of a convention centre by converting 48 officers’ flats at Hotel Parkview in Sector 24.

After CITCO failed to utilise the grant for the construction of a convention centre, the UT administration handed over the flats to the health department in July and also directed CITCO to refund the complete amount with interest. (HT File)
After CITCO failed to utilise the grant for the construction of a convention centre, the UT administration handed over the flats to the health department in July and also directed CITCO to refund the complete amount with interest. (HT File)

After CITCO failed to utilise the grant for the construction of a convention centre, the UT administration handed over the flats to the health department in July and also directed CITCO to refund the complete amount with interest.

In the recent meeting of CITCO, the officers decided not to refund the amount as it was the mistake of the UT administration for not clearing the drawings of the centre on time. Also, the site was not viable for the construction and UT was aware of it and the premises were already being used for hotel operations, officers said in the meeting.

On the other hand, a senior officer of the UT administration said, “We have not received any written intimation from CITCO.”

The flats (1201 to 1248) are now to be used as a hostel for nurses and doctors.

In 2014, the UT administration directed the corporation to convert the officers’ flats into a convention centre/banquet hall. It provided CITCO 5 crore in 2017 and another 4.5 crore in 2019 for the project that was envisioned to provide space for exhibitions and meetings.

However, nine years later, CITCO in April this year informed the administration that the site was not viable for the project and instead proposed to construct the centre at Sector 31.

Originally, the hotel, then known as Yatri Niwas, had three blocks of apartments, including 24 each in two blocks and 48 officers’ apartments in the third block.

In May, the office of assistant controller (finance and accounts) rents under the UT administration had also issued a notice to CITCO for failing to clear rent worth 1.75 crore owed for 148 rooms at the hotel.

As per the agreement, CITCO has to pay annual/monthly rent for the 148 rooms, but it failed to keep its end of the bargain for the past 7-8 years. Notably, out of the total of 1.75 crore dues, 83 lakh has accrued as interest only.

As per the demand notice, in 1984, the UT administration gave the charge of 24 apartments (1301 to 1324) of Block A to CITCO for the establishment of Yatri Niwas to provide affordable accommodation to middle-income tourists visiting Chandigarh.

Under the lease, the rent was fixed at 1,000 per apartment per annum. In 2000, the administration allotted 24 more apartments (1325 to 1348) of Block B on the same terms and conditions.

Later in 2014, the UT administration handed over the 48 officers’ apartments (1201 to 1248) as well, and a licence fee of 1,500 per month was to be charged for each of these apartments.

But while CITCO converted the 48 apartments, leased till 2000, into smaller rooms, the 48 officers’ apartments have been lying unoccupied, resulting in huge financial loss and gradual deterioration of infrastructure.

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