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HP to pass TCP bill to regularise illegal constructions, cabinet gives nod

The bill replaces an Ordinance earlier promulgated in September 2014 but later withdrawn by the cabinet.

Written by Ashwani Sharma | Shimla |
December 2, 2014 9:12:25 pm

Ending suspense over impending move to regularise illegal constructions in all major urban towns, including Shimla, the state cabinet on Tuesday cleared the draft bill to grant one-time benefit to the citizens having raised buildings up to six stories and  done 70 percent deviations from sanctioned construction plan.

The bill replaces an Ordinance earlier promulgated in September 2014 but later withdrawn by the cabinet.Biggest change done in the draft bill approved today is a significant reduction in the compounding fee chargeable from the residents getting relaxations for committing violations.

The fee ( one-time penalty) has been reduced to just one-fifth of what was proposed earlier in the ordinance. Violations done in a horizontal manner will have compounding charges of Rs 800 per sq meter for ground floor and Rs 400 per sq meter for first and second floors in the municipal areas. For other areas, the rate is half (Rs 400) of what will be chargeable in the first category of municipal areas.

Another category is those of vertical constructions up to six stories will be chargeable @ Rs 1500 per square meter in the municipal areas and Rs 1000 per sq meter in the non-municipal areas.

The bill will be introduced in the winter session of the state assembly beginning at Dharamshala on December 5.This is the second time when the bill will be introduced in the House, after first piloted during the budget session in February 2014, but were referred to the select committee.

Yet ,the move raises questions as how will state government deal with those violators, who have taken no permissions to raise residential and commercial buildings without following regularisation measures including structural safety norms.

Some buildings have encroached pathways, caused constructions to those having built houses after due approvals and few took advantage of government’s indecision to enact legislation during past two months and committed serious violations.

Says the minister for Urban Development Sudhir Sharma “ during past some days, the government has got videography of buildings done and if it’s recent construction,t he case will not be considered for regularisation. Shimla’s green-belt, core areas of town and heritage zone have been excluded from the purview of the new amendment.

The draft bill, besides straightening of process to regularise illegal buildings has also offered major concessions to the builders lobby, many of these close to the power. They will not be required to get fresh registrations for five years.Earlier provision was only for three years.Concession has also been granted to the real estate developers not to reserve flats for economically weaker sections and bonafide Himachalis if their project is below 40 bighas.

The provisions even go contrary to the report of a Vidhan Sabha committee which was set-up during the BJP regime to detect violations done under the HP Apartments Act.

Cabinet meeting presided over by Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh.

The cabinet also cleared draft Lokayukta Bill, 2014 proposed to give teeth to the anti-graft institution to deal with corruption in the state.It will, however, be a single member body and will not have suo-moto powers to investigate complaints or conduct raids against corrupts. The Lokayukta will get new provision of initiating contempt of court proceedings.

The BJP, during its regime, had passed much stronger bill which now has been replaced by the Virbhadra Singh government.The select committee of the House headed by Law and Revenue Minister Kaul Singh Thakur had struck down proposal to have a multi-member commission in the small state.

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