Ludhiana Improvement Trust(LIT) will start construction work of flats under the Atal Apartments scheme on 8.8 acres of land at Pakhowal Road after formal inauguration. Work order for the project has been issued to a contractor, who has transported machinery to the site.
The LIT chairman said that either chief minister Bhagwant Mann or local bodies minister Balkar Singh would come for inauguration of the project at the end of this month. With this, the much stalled project is being inaugurated for the third time.
The Atal Apartment scheme was initially launched during the SAD-BJP government. Its foundation stone was first laid in 2011 by then local bodies minister Tikshan Sood. It took five years for the LIT to organise a draw for allotment of flats, which was done in December 2016.
The department allotted flats to 110 persons but since the cost was high, allottees did not pay the entire amount and the scheme was dropped in August 2017.
In January 2018, the department carried out a fresh demand survey and received 825 applications. Every applicant deposited Rs 10,000 but this time too, the LIT dropped the idea and returned the money deposited as fee to the applicants.
The LIT had also dropped the Atal Apartment flats scheme in February 2020, when the local bodies department asked them not to go ahead with housing projects. On December 16, 2021 former CM Charanjit Singh Channi laid the foundation stone again.
After change in government, draw of lots for 576 flats (for 336 HIG applications and 151 MIG applications) was conducted on June 16, 2022. These included 336 HIG and 240 MIG flats. Draw for the remaining MIG flats is yet to be conducted. Former local bodies minister Dr Inderbir Singh Nijjar handed over allotment letters to successful allottees on April 10 this year.
On being asked about the third inauguration of the project, LIT chairman Tarsem Bhinder said, “I am not aware of previous inaugurations but it is in our government that allotment letters were issued to allottees and then we floated and allotted tenders. So basically, the project became a reality in our government.” He said that the decision on whether the CM or local bodies minister would come for inauguration and the final date would be announced after a meeting in Chandigarh.
An allottee said on condition of anonymity, “The work could have been started without an inauguration ceremony as we have been waiting for beginning of the construction work since last June.
The focus should have been on getting construction completed as soon as possible. Inauguration should be done when the flats have been completed.” The project will have 12-storey residential earthquake resistant towers. The apartments will also offer facilities like swimming pool, etc.