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Hopes revive for over 45,000 illegal structures in Pune

Conditions apply: Penalty, structural soundness a must

Written by Nisha Nambiar | Pune |
Updated: March 12, 2016 12:24:33 am
Officials said action against illegal structures or regularisation will be taken only after a GR comes Officials said action against illegal structures or regularisation will be taken only after a GR comes

With the Maharashtra cabinet accepting the expert panel’s report on regularisation of unauthorised constructions, Pune district’s rural areas would see at least 46,260 buildings being regularised provided the conditions put by the committee are met with and after paying a one-time penalty.

The survey, carried out over a year in the rural parts of the district, had put up this figure from the 13 talukas of the district. Action was carried out against 2,626 structures where the administration had collected Rs 1.8 crore.

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However, with this move, these structures can get concession provided they are structurally sound and are given clearance by the town planning department after paying the necessary amount.

District administration officials said that once the GR comes, the officials can take the necessary action against these structures or regularise them.

A structural stability certificate would have to be submitted compulsorily for such structures and with the cabinet clearly specifying that the regularisation would be on a case to case basis, it would have to be reassessed.

“While it will be reviewed independently, the one thing we are clear about is that illegal constructions on land reserved for public reservation and those on land reserved for vital public infrastructure projects will not be tolerated,” said a senior district administration official.
According to the detailed survey carried out by the district administration the 46,260 structures are spread out on 2,127.195 hectares. The report has been updated till February end and the action as listed by the district administration is 2,626 structures on an area of 544.23 hectares. Administration officials said while there will be a fine levied on each case, the amount would differ and that will be spelt out in the GR.

Ahead of the elections in the coming year and the state’s depleting cash resources, the revenue minister had stated that regularisation of these structures would be the option and only if it is not at all feasible then the action would be taken. Post the cabinet acceptance, a bill would be tabled in the state legislature. It is believed that at least 2 lakh unauthorised buildings in the state will benefit from this move. With elections in the coming year in 10 corporations, including Mumbai, Pune, Thane, Pimpri-Chinchwad and Nagpur, besides 26 zilla parishad and 196 municipal councils, set to go to polls before March 2017, the key areas of illegal building menace is mainly in Pune, PCMC and Mumbai areas.

In the run-up to the Maharashtra assembly polls, the erstwhile Congress-NCP government had appointed a high-level panel, headed by former Mumbai civic chief Sitaram Kunte, on June 12, 2014, to suggest measures to deal with unauthorised structures in urban areas. The panel had also been asked to recommend steps to rein in illegal constructions in these pockets in future.

Based on the panel’s report and following suggestions from revenue, law and judiciary departments, the government Thursday decided to permit compounding of all irregular structures found indulging in zone and floor space index (FSI) violations within the permissible FSI by collecting a one-time penalty. The revenue department has linked the penalty to market rates.

Post the Narhe tragedy in October 2014 in the district where an entire six storey building collapsed and claimed one life, the investigations had found that the builder had added a floor to the building without any permission and the quality of the construction material used was substandard and the builder had not obtained the completion certificate before giving possession to the flat owners.

The administration surveyed 72,000 buildings and the survey team fanned out in 80 fringe villages of the district and checked for illegal buildings that have come up post 2009.

Most prominent areas in the district which saw these constructions included Wagholi, Mundhwa, Ambegaon, Narhe, Chakan, Moshi and Khadakwasla.

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