Norms for regularisation of illegal structures relaxed

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 03 Sep 2018 12:01:17

Special Correspondent,

Realising that its compounding policy failed to regularise even a single illegal structure in the State, Maharashtra Government has rolled back its decision to impose a hefty development fees and also many stringent conditions which made the policy a non-starter. Now, Government has authorised local planning authority to decide the compounding charges.

The Government has also removed the riders regarding permissible height of the building with road width. Now, all the buildings having less than 36 meter height can be easily regularised. This will be a major decision of the State Government to regularise several illegal constructions pending for violation of marginal spaces in the State.

In its directives issued on October 7, 2017, the Government had decided to regularise illegal constructions by payment of premium in the State. The Government had issued notification to regularise all illegal constructions till December 31, 2015. These rules were called as Maharashtra Town Planning (Compounded Structures) Rules, 2017. However, after receiving several complaints regarding exorbitant charges and cumbersome process, the Government has decided to amend it.

Earlier, the compounding was subject to recovery of an amount equal to 50 per cent of the cost of the unauthorised development occupied by inadequate marginal distance on the basis of prevailing ready reckoner rates with additional compounding charges equal to 10 per cent of the land rate in current ready reckoner rates. However, after one year, the Government has taken a complete ‘U’ turn by amending the earlier clause “compounding charges equal to 50 per cent of the construction rate/ land rate in current annual statement of rates” by “The compounding charges as decided by planning authority.”

The Government clarified that the planning authority shall decide the compounding charges as mentioned above by calculating the funds needed for providing public amenities, utilities and services in the respective areas. The Government issued amended notification recently.The Government also amended the permissible height of the building with respect to road width. Earlier, the height of the building was related to road width. Now, Government has decided to give permission to all the buildings having less than 36 meter height situated on any width of the road. This may be great relief to citizens, who are residing in small lanes of the unauthorised layouts in Nagpur.

This will pave way for the regularisation of lakhs of unauthorised buildings and structures in the city. Earlier, the Government had put a bar on the regularisation of these structures by introducing certain conditions. However, there was a strong opposition from local bodies as well as citizens living in illegal structures for levying hefty premium charges for regularisation. The Government received a meager response in last one year.

Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) had passed a resolution in its general body meeting to reduce the premium charges as they were not affordable. Sandip Joshi, Ruling Party leader and Chairman of Maharashtra Small Scale Industrial Development Corporation (MSSIDC) while welcoming the decision of Maharashtra Government expressed gratitude towards Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis. He said, “Chief Minister is very sensitive and took this decision in larger public interest to provide succour to aggrieved citizens. When he came to know that people are finding it difficult to pay the premium charges in many localities as the charges are higher than the actual construction costs, he accepted our request to amend it.”

The amended notification stated that planning authorities communicated various issues while implementation of these rules and requested the Government to reduce the compounding charges. The Government has invited suggestions and objections within a month over this amendment. The illegal constructions will not be regularised in the areas where development is prohibited under any law, near catchment of rivers, canals, tanks, blue flood line, defence zone, quarry, heritage buildings, dumping grounds, ecologically sensitive areas, mangroves, forest and others. The illegal development will not be regularised in buffer zones, structurally unsafe building, other then residential zone, public-semi public zone, commercial zone and industrial zone, and carried out by violating the land use permissible in zones of development plan except in residential zone.

The development on land reserved for public purposes except play ground, garden, and open spaces in any plan, will be regularised, if the said reservation is shifted or deleted. The illegal development on land reserved for linear reservations such as roads, railways, metros in any plan, if the said reservation is shifted, can also be regularised. The illegal constructions will be regularised on land earmarked for any special scheme for rehabilitation or resettlement of any project-affected persons at the sole discretion of the planning authority.

The development that is permissible in residential, commercial, public, semi-public or industrial zones as per prevailing development control rules but constructed without obtaining prior permissions of the authority shall be considered for declaration as compounded structure by charging compounding fees. The development that is carried out in violation of regulations on the grounds of Floor Space Index (FSI), Height of Building, Marginal Open Space, Coverage, road width, may be considered for declaration as compounded structure after levying appropriate fine.