KOLKATA: Suman Ghosh, a promoter who has invested more than 50 lakh in his latest real estate project in Jadavpur, is in a fix. All set to launch bookings for his G+4 housing project, Ghosh had applied to the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) buildings department for regularization of some parts of the newly constructed buildings which have been built without sanction. However, Ghosh's plea has been rejected as the KMC authorities have decided to stop regularizing unauthorized buildings following a recent order from Calcutta high court. Ghosh has been told to wait till the next policy decision taken by the civic top brass on this issue.
More than promoters, some house owners who need to take up additional construction or renovation of their existing properties will land in real trouble, felt a section of the KMC building department officials. Take for example the plight of Ratan Mukherjee, a resident of Beadon Street who had constructed a toilet on the first floor of his three-storied building after taking due approval for renovation of his house. However, Mukherjee did not take prior permission for construction of the toilet and hence had applied for regularization. He has now been told to wait till a decision for regularization of illegal constructions is taken.
According to a KMC buildings department official, scores of files containing applications for regularizing unauthorized constructions have been sent to mayor Sovan Chatterjee for approval. However, Chatterjee is yet to come up with a concrete decision on this and has stopped giving his approval.
Chatterjee conceded that it will pose a lot of harassment to middle-class residents to wait for long to get a minor violation of the KMC building rules regularized. But at the same time, he pointed out that until a comprehensive new policy is framed, the civic body is in no position to offer regularization of unauthorized structures in view of the court order.
"For the time being, we are duty-bound not to offer regularization of unauthorized buildings. But we will try to give citizens quick relief since we are not against those who are in real need of undertaking some additional construction and sometimes tend to flout rules as it takes longer for them to get a plan sanctioned," Chatterjee said.
The KMC move comes in the wake of the Calcutta high court order restricting it from legalizing unauthorized constructions against a penalty. The buildings department earned Rs 55 crore in 2013-14 as penalty from such regularizations. Besides amending the rules, the KMC will also appeal before a division bench of Calcutta high court against the single bench order, Chatterjee said.