Legalising Illegal buildings
By Dr Sanjay Chaturvedi, LLB, Phd.
On 1st April 2017, both the house of Maharashtra state legislature have passed an amendment under Maharashtra Regional Town Planning (MRTP) Act to enable legalising of illegal structures in state which were carried out on or before December 31, 2015.
The Amendment says that those seeking to regularize structure will have to pay penalties. However, only those structures which are within the purview of DCR will be entertained. The Act came as a relief to thousands of buildings which do not have Occupation Certificate (OC) and were subject to RERA license if not taken OC. The Amendment was submitted to Bombay High Court which is hearing PIL on illegal constructions.
Under RERA, all the structures which have got Commencement Certificate and have not got OC are subject to license. But most of the buildings cannot trace builder and hence were facing big problem. Now since, the amendment will facilitate the regularisation process, majority of building, especially old structures will take a sigh of relief.
Although it is technically right to regularize after amendment but is it right to destroy the town planning norms from back door? Slums were regularized by Congress till 2000 when the last date for regularization was freezes to year 1995. When FSI norms were violated by Campa Cola building, what was their fault to not to get regularized? It will encourage illegal constructions in the city when precedent are kept that sooner or later such structures will be regularised. The doors will be opned for next government to enhance the date from 31st Dec 2015 to the next date to legalise the illegal buildings.