SHIMLA: The Himachal Pradesh government has made seeking prior approval mandatory before registration of a plot's sale deed. In order to ensure the planned and regulated development in all areas, the state government has decided to ensure strict enforcement of the Town and Country Planning Act and its rules. This would also help in keeping close vigil on the real estate developers who manage to develop unauthorized colonies without getting proper licence for the same.
A senior official from the town and country planning department said that a mass awareness campaign with active support of divisional and deputy commissioners in the state has already been started on the issue. He said prior approval of plots or land for sale was mandatory, before registration of sale deeds, in 1980.
"The provision was made for the welfare of the buyers as in most of the cases they have to face difficulties in constructing a house," he added. He said this provision was akin to restriction imposed by the Section-118 of the HP Tenancy and Land Reforms Act, as in both the cases restriction on sale of land had been imposed by getting assent of the President of India.
The official said that the state government had not imposed any ban on transfer of undivided land by way of issuing any executive directions. "There was no ban on the registration of sale deeds provided land to be sold involved no further sub-division. In case any division was involved, only pre-requisite before registering a sale deed was to get the sub-division plan approved from the TCP department," he added.
Division of hereditary land in Hindu undivided family (HUF) can take place without any formal approval of the department. Sale of un-partitioned land had resulted hardships to the buyers, as in several cases land was sold without proper provision of any access. There were numerous litigations over the possession of land by the new buyers, he added.
In Palampur, green area had been sold to innocent buyers, who were now not able to raise any construction in plots. He said that a blatant case of violation of the provisions of the TCP Act in Mandi town had resulted in sale of path, parks and now the buyers were knocking the door of administration for relief.
He said that in view of high seismic vulnerability of the state, non-following of TCP regulations would adversely affect the safety and security of the people. In Shimla and Solan, land had been sold in sinking and sliding zones, no construction zones and on hazardous slopes. There were many cases where real estate developers had managed to develop unauthorized colonies without getting a proper license, mainly because provisions of the Town and Country Planning Act were overlooked.
Unscrupulous property dealers had been spreading the rumours that people would face difficulties in registration of sale deeds, whereas truth was that only because of this unorganized sector, several innocent buyers had been trapped in lurch and haphazard development in the state, he added.