The state government will soon conduct lok darbars in eight municipal corporations to speed up impact fee drive for regularising some 15 lakh illegal structures across the state under the Gujarat Regularisation of Unauthorised Development Regulation Act,2011. They are likely to be conducted after the by-elections for four Assembly and two Parliamentary seats on June 2.
The lok adalats will come up after the August 2012 drive launched to regularise these structures found lukewarm response. So far,the Urban Development Department has extended the deadline to regularise illegal constructions,both residential and commercial,thrice since August 2012. Now,the deadline is August 2013. Since March,the government has also involved the BJP to form special cells,involving members who are lawyers and could provide legal guidance free of charge to applicants to promote the drive. But the response has been far from encouraging.
However,the Urban Development Department,headed by Anandi Patel,is not in favour of further extending the deadline. It is also not in a position to go ahead with bulldozers given the Lok Sabha Elections in 2014. The timing for elections has put the government in a fix. Further extending the deadline would send out the message that the government is lenient. A demolition drive just before the general elections would be suicidal, said an Urban Development Department official.
Most likely the lok darbars will be conducted ward wise in all eight municipal corporations. It will be presided over by top corporation and urban department officials, he added. On February 19 this year,the state government extended the deadline for the third time by 6 months and slashed impact fee rates too.