NMC moots amendment in DCR to regularise religious shrines

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 07 Nov 2018 08:58:30


Special Correspondent,

Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) has proposed to give the legal status to the religious structures situated in residential localities. The civic body has sought amendments in Development Control Regulations (DCR) under section 37 of Maharashtra Region Town Planning (MRTP) Act to provide protection to shrines situated on public utility (PU) lands in all the layouts.

It may be mentioned that NMC and Nagpur Improvement Trust (NIT) had demolished several religious structures in the city leading to public outroar. The civic body had prepared a list of 1514 religious structures and demolished most of them as per the directions of the High Court. However, the Court later rejected the faulty list prepared by the civic body and directed them to revisit the list.

The demolition drive triggered resentment among devotees and citizens of Orange city. Meanwhile, High Court also blasted planning authorities for targeting shrines located on open spaces, public utility plots within lay-outs and even on private lands. However, Court did not provide any protection to the structures located on the roads.

To give legal status to these religious structures situated in the layouts, NMC General Body had unanimously adopted a resolution on August 9, 2018, for regularising religious structures on open spaces in layouts by amending regulation number (2), 13.8 and 14.2 of DCR. Through this resolution the civic body sought to remove legal ambiguities that came in way of regularisation of shrines in the layouts.

The civic body has suggested adding ‘religious structures’ along with gymnasium or club house or vipasana and yoga centre to regularise these constructions in regulation (2). However, public trusts or temple committees will have to seek no objection certificate (NOC) for any religious structure from concerned police station and collector. The proposed amendment in regulation 13.8 states that religious constructions will be allowed in layouts admeasuring more than 3 hectares. Presently, there is a provision for opening nursery schools, sub-post offices, police stations and others over 5 percent of the open space and PU plots. The religious structures will also be allowed in Public/Semi Public Zone and public utility plots.

After receiving suggestions and objection in this regard, NMC will conduct a hearing to all applicants. After completion of this formality, the final proposal will be forwarded to Maharashtra Government.