Saturday, February 19, 2005

Governor returns legislation to regularize illegal constructions

Two governors return building Bill
Legislation Seeks To Regularise Illegal Constructions
The Times of India

Bangalore: One Bill, and returned by two governors. What does the Bill envisage? It provides for one-time mass regularisation of ‘illegal’ buildings by imposing a hefty penalty. It pegs the maximum limit of violations at 50 per cent and the cut-off date as December 31, 2003.

Governor T.N. Chaturvedi has returned legislation on grounds that it “demoralises law-abiding citizens.’’

Piloted first in 1999 by the Patel government, the Bill was sent back by Raj Bhavan as it was flawed. The then governor had sought clarification on future course of action against illegal constructions after onetime regularisation and also about incentive to law-abiding citizens.

Brought again before the legislature with amendments, it was sent to the present governor, who has sought certain clarifications. The Bill had proposed to bring in an amendment to the Karnataka Municipal Corporation Act to empower urban local bodies to execute the mass regularisation scheme.

Sources said this time the governor has returned the Bill raising objections over the basic theory of the scheme. As per law, governor can seek clarifications any number of times.

The Bill, which has laid down parameters for regularisation, has specified buildings will not be regularised if they are on land belonging to government and local authorities, constructed in violation of setback norms etc.

The Bill envisages a new legislation for dealing with buildings that have come up on the green belt. Regarding implementation, the Bill notes that applications for regularisation should be filed within three months of the notification. In case of failure to do so, it proposes action against the owner and also disconnecting power and water connections. For commercial buildings, the authorities can cancel trade licences terming the premises as illegal.

Now, to redraft the Bill, government has constituted a cabinet subcommittee headed by transport minister Mallikarjun M. Kharge. The committee is expected to place it before the next legislature session.

Fine move

Residential buildings:
10% of property value up to 25% violation; 20% of property value if it is above 25% violation, up to a maximum of 50%.

Non-residential buildings:
Penalty will be double.
An amendment to KMC Act to introduce Capital Value System mooted to collect double the amount of property tax from ‘illegal’ buildings till such time Bill is approved.


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