Govt plans to regularise illegal buildings across state
About one lakh unauthorised structures are likely to be legalized in Hyderabad alone
Nov 26, 2014
Source : The Times of India


HYDERABAD: The state government is planning to regularize illegal constructions across the state by announcing a scheme. If the scheme is implemented, about one lakh unauthorised structures are likely to be legalized in Hyderabad alone.

Sources in the municipal administration and urban development (MA&UD) department and Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) said the guidelines for the new scheme are in the works. This exercise is likely to be completed in a couple of weeks. A report with detailed guidelines would then be submitted to chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao for his approval.

The regularization scheme is expected to fetch the state government nearly Rs 1,000 crore in the form of penalties. It may also reap rich political dividends to the ruling TRS in the GHMC polls that are likely to be held sometime early next year.

The state government may allow regularization of constructions which are meant for residential purpose and non high-rise buildings (structures below 17 metres of height). Of the total estimated illegal constructions, 90 per cent fall under this category.

Commercial buildings and high-rises are likely to be kept out of the scheme's purview. Apart from this, buildings which have come up in public spaces like parks, open spaces and those posing a threat to the environment like lakes and are against zonal regulations as well as land usage rule will not be considered for regularization. Even if a residential building is located on a narrow road or in a bylane causing inconvenience to the general public, it will not be considered for regularization, the sources said. Officials are also wary of the legal cases pertaining to the earlier round of building penalization scheme and taking steps to ensure that similar issues do not crop up this time around.

"The state government's intention is to curb unauthorized constructions and not to give scope for more such structures in future. After the regularization scheme, buildings that are constructed in violation of rules and which cannot be regularized will be pulled down," a senior official of the state government told TOI.

The previous round of BPS was announced in January 2008 and constructions raised illegally before December 2007 were regularized. Apart from BPS, the previous Congress government also brought in a Layout Regularization Scheme (LRS) to legalize open plots in unapproved layouts. Under the 2008 BPS, the GHMC earned Rs 900 crore, while another Rs 575 crore was realized under LRS.

During the previous scheme, the GHMC alone had received 2,05,006 applications, of which 1,44,353 were cleared and 55,901 rejected due to various reasons. Another 4,700 applications are still pending, especially those relating to high-rise buildings as they have not complied with norms like getting 'no objection certificate' (NOC) from the fire services department.

Similarly, the HMDA had received 10,000 applications of which 2,500 are still to be cleared. Both BPS and LRS were wound up last year in May and November respectively. Interestingly, even in 1998, the then state government announced building regularization scheme and legalized about 15,000 structures.

Officials argue that in the past five years, GHMC had permitted about 60,000 buildings and of them only 10% have obtained occupancy certificate by following all the building norms. City corporators have been urging the state government to announce BPS, and even the GHMC standing committee earlier passed a resolution seeking reintroduction of the scheme.

"Already, there is a provision in the GHMC Act to penalize builders or owners who deviate from the original sanctioned plan if the deviations are below 10% of the total built up area. This scheme is an extension of the provision," an official of the MA&UD department said.

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