Monday, November 26, 2007

Citizens refuse to pay Sakrama fee, file PIL

Citizens refuse to pay Sakrama fee, file PIL

Bangalore: Not all is well with the muchpublicized Sakrama scheme. Some citizens have decided to take the government to court, claiming that the scheme is a cover for fleecing the public.
The members of the Prakruthi Township Residents’ Association in Byatarayanapura zone have filed public interest litigation before the high court, stating that the officials are fleecing the citizens in the name of regularization.
Varky Thomas, secretary of the association, said a petition (WP 18544/2007) was filed before the high court on Saturday. It will come up for hearing next week.
“Residents of Prakruthi Township have stayed here for over a decade. Most of them have got the building plan sanctioned and have paid property tax in village panchayat and Byatarayanapura City Municipal Council. The residents have even obtained housing loans by producing khata issued by civic bodies. This being the case, why should we pay the regularization fee now?” he asked.
The regularization fee is much higher than the cost of the property when it was purchased, he said, alleging that the scheme was introduced with the intention of helping private engineers, BBMP officials and touts. He claimed the BBMP has no power to disconnect water supply and power to houses that are not regularised, because the owners had paid a certain amount to to get permission for the connections.
BBMP deputy commissioner (resources) U A Vasantha Rao said, “A layout developer should take permission from the planning authorities like BDA, BMRDA and BIAPA, depending upon the jurisdiction. If the permission of planning authority is not sought, it will be deemed as unauthorised. Now, the government has made provision for regularizing such sites and houses by paying the fee under Sakrama.”
Layouts developed before February 3, 2007 are eligible for regularization under Sakrama. Even if property owners have been paying property tax to village panchayats and hold a khata, they have to regularize their property, he said.
Public Affairs Centre chairman Samuel Paul said the BBMP has to explain to citizens the difference between property tax and regularization fee. If the scheme is obscure and misinterpreted by officials, citizens can move court.
Janaagraha co-founder Swati Ramanathan said the government has to implement the scheme effectively. She explained that property tax is a tax on the property owned, while regularization fee is the penalty imposed on unauthorized construction, she said.


At Sunday, December 2, 2007 at 5:47:00 PM GMT+5:30, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The public should shun the so called “Now or never” Sakrama scheme. Sakrama is a scheme introduced by the government to protect its corrupt officials. No unauthorized construction or constructions with violations would have come up with out the government official’s palms being greased. Now, with Sakrama scheme the same officials want to wash out their corruption by regularizing the violations/ unauthorized constructions. The public is the loser, first they had to grease the palms of the officials now they have to pay the government to regularize the corrupt practice of the same officials.


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