An estimated 80 per cent of constructions that have cropped up on the 16-km stretch between Narol and Naroda in Ahmedabad are “illegal”, said Vallabh Kakadiya, former minister and a sitting BJP MLA while addressing an “open house” where the state government gave out “claim certificates” to legalise the “illegal homes” of 3,000 house owners in eastern part of Ahmedabad city on Saturday. Addressing the beneficiaries at Tagore Hall, Kakadiya narrated an interaction that he had with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the past. The BJP MLA from Rakhial talked about how he told Modi that “legalising illegal constructions was one of the biggest jobs on hand”.
“Once Narendrabhai had asked.. how much of the construction is illegal. I replied, about 80 per cent of all constructions between Narol and Naroda would be illegal. Is it 80 per cent? he asked. I replied, Saheb, it is 80 percent because Maninagar (former assembly constituency of Modi) falls in between. It is 58 per cent in my area,” said Kakadiya as the audience laughed and clapped.
“Your work has been done by the BJP government… Houses in these societies that were on Rs 10-20 stamp papers, used to be sold for Rs 1-2 crore, but if you went for a Rs 1 lakh loan, you will not get it. It is because they were illegal and the BJP government was concerned about it,” he added at the event where BJP MLAs Rakesh Shah, Arvind Patel, Bhupendra Patel and revenue minister Kaushik Patel were present.
This is the first time claim certificates were being given to beneficiaries in Ahmedabad district after changes were made to the Land Revenue Code, 1879, said government officials. A total of 3,046 claim certificates were given to beneficiaries in the 23rd open house organised in the last one-and-a-half years in Ahmedabad district by the revenue department for resolving matter land-related issues through a “transparent” public forum. The maximum of these beneficiaries who benefited on Saturday were in Maninagar (1,494) and Asarwa (765). These certificates mention the amount of fees (including stamp duty) that the beneficiary has to pay within 90 days, after which the government will regularise the property by providing a title-deed. “I appeal to all the beneficiaries to pay,” said Kakadiya.
Speaking at the event, state revenue minister Kaushik Patel said the concept of organising an open house is a move of the state’s revenue department. “In Gujarat, there are 600 (residential) societies where small families live – in Rajkot, Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Jamnagar, Bhavnagar – in small houses. What did the builders do? They bought land, but did not convert it into non-agricultural land. They built houses. The common man, who has no idea of the legalities and permission, bought these houses and started living. The builder earned his money and left. About 70,000 families in Gujarat did not have title-deeds of their homes. They can only live in such houses. They cannot sell. This came to the government’s notice and to help them, the government took steps to legalise societies that were older than 15 years.. This event is meant to give claim certificates to those who have applied for title deeds,” Patel said.
Kaushik Valera, one of the beneficiaries, said he struggled to prove the ownership of a bungalow he had purchased at the cost of Rs 2.5 lakh at Vatva in eastern Ahmedabad.
“I am very grateful to the BJP government for initiating the process to legalise the house that I live in. I had purchased it in 1994 from a builder – we came to know later – who had not obtained the necessary permission. In absence of title deeds, while making applications to banks and other government agencies, we had struggled to prove that the bungalow we lived in, was ours,” said Valera, posing with the claim certificate after the “open house” event concluded. Valera has to pay over Rs 2 lakh, including stamp duty, after he will get the title-deed (sanad in Gujarati).
Similarly, Shardaben Vardiya, who had accompanied two other members of her residential society near CTM crossroad in Vatva, said, “We have all received claim certificates. Once I get the title deed, I will be able to transfer the ownership of the property to my son.”