Lok Satta

Thursday, 05 February 2009 06:27

Building Regularization

Article Index
Building Regularization
Thrust of the BPS-CDS scheme
Government's Approach
Lok Satta Party's response
Lok Satta Party-Lok Satta Discussion Forum About Regularization Robbery On 9th
MEDIA RELEASE - (Hyderabad, 21/01/2008)
Lok Satta welcomes suspension of Building regularization orders
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What is Building Penalization Scheme (BPS)?
Government Policy: Large number of unauthorized layouts and unauthorized buildings are cropping up in all urban areas. Government with a view to regulate the unauthorized constructions came up with a Penalisation of unauthorized constructions and constructions in deviations of the sanctioned plan. This was done allegedly to help bring unauthorized constructions into planning fold and also to remove the threat or fear of demolition. According to government, it is a one-time opportunity to get unauthorized constructions regulated.

Stated' Objectives of the Scheme:

  • To penalize each and every building constructed unauthorisedly or in deviation of the sanctioned plan so as to create deterrence against any such practice.
  • To bring all the unauthorized constructions into planning fold and to regulate the development in urban areas.
  • To provide an opportunity to the owners of the buildings to regulate their unauthorized constructions and deviations made to the sanctioned plan.
  • To provide relief to several persons who have purchased buildings without any knowledge about the building regulations.

Thrust of the BPS-CDS scheme:

The entire burden of paying penalty falls on the home/apartment/plot owner.

The builder/developer is the one who made the profits and is clearly responsible for the fidelity of the constructions/plots with the rules and laws. Yet, he is let go scot free. (Even the modified BPS, after GO 112 and 113 only make likely fines on builders/developers prospective, while the fines on the owners are retrospective!).

Of course, the corrupt, colluding and lax officials who in the first place, have allowed any unauthorized constructions and deviations are not held responsible.
The govt. has totally ignored any violations, land grabs, etc over the past several decades and now apparently wakes up-only to make money!

The lesson from this BPS-CDS scheme seems to be that if you are a hardworking middle class, who has taken a loan or saved money for buying a home or an apartment, then the government is after you. But if you are brazen enough to occupy government or assigned lands then you can get away with it!

Government's Approach:

The Government's approach and behaviour makes it clear that it is focused solely on generating hundreds of crores of rupees revenue from innocent, scared home and apartment owners and plot owners.

Its officers in various municipalities across the State are serving notices to home and apartment owners where the latter are being asked to pay fines before the deadline or else face the possibility of demolition of their homes.  Such notices are generic and vague and threatening:  they do not specify why that notice has been served to the particular home/apartment owner, what sort of deviations have taken place in that home and how much penalty should the person pay.  This is akin to saying, 'You face the punishment, but I cannot tell you what your crime is!''

Such notices are apparently being given without any scientific basis. Home owners who have not committed any deviations have received such notices; persons who have already applied under the previous Building Regularization Scheme (BRS) have received notices.  The govt. does not even have a proper data base of the total constructions, total violations, etc.

In municipalities like Vizainagaram, the officials are reportedly even threatening to cut-off water supply and power connections if the owners do not pay up fine. This is clearly violative of law and the courts take such threats very strictly.  Lok Satta Party's Vizainagaram District has called upon the municipal authorities to clarify the situation.

Lok Satta Party's response:

It has taken up the public cause across three broad fronts:

  1. Collective, Informed Assertion and Citizen Mobilization:It has brought together the home owners, apartment owners,plot owners and ordinary,middle class citizens. It has conducted several seminars, camps,meetings, etc to create greater awareness about the entire BPS-CDS scheme among the public. These colony associations, apartment associations,etc. have passed resolutions to effect.
  2. Free, Legal Counseling across the State:Lok Satta Party's leaders and volunteers have been giving free legal counseling to the affected individuals across the State, since the initiation of the scheme. Thousands of home and apartment owners along with plot owners have availed of this facility, by contacting our district and state offices.

Approaching the Judiciary:Lok Satta Party has filed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL in the form of a WP) in the High Court against the irrationality and unconstitutionality of the penalization scheme. The High Court has passed interim orders on this PIL (clubbed with other petitions filed by private individuals on the same matter) recently,giving relief to the home owners.

Lok Satta Discussion Forum About Regularization Robbery

GO 901 BPS Scheme...Builders and complicit officials must be penalized :
Lok Satta Party

Lok Satta welcomes suspension of Building regularization orders

Lok Satta Party-Lok Satta Discussion Forum About Regularization Robbery On 9th

Party GHMC Committee Invites All Colony and Apartment Associations

In the wake of the revised government orders (GO), LSP GHMC wing is organizing a forum at 3 pm on February 9th (Saturday) at the LSP State office in Bandlanes, Basheerbagh to discuss future action.

Terming the latest GOs 112 and 113 as inadequate and half-hearted, the LSP GHMC president N. Ravinder and vise-president K. Srinivas Rao in a statement today, have invited all colony and apartment welfare associations to attend the forum and express their views in this regard. They said allowing the corrupt officials and greedy venture developers and builders go scot-free and penalizing the hapless owners is outrageous.

They demanded proper justice to the house and flat owners most of whom belong to the middle classes and have bought the flats and plots by investing their life's savings. They termed the government orders as legalized robbery. The LSP GHMC leaders called for participation of all colony and apartment association representatives in the discussion forum to express their views in this regard.

The LSP leaders said people who want more details about the discussion forum can contact either 2323 1818 or 98660 74029.

MEDIA RELEASE - (Hyderabad, 21/01/2008)

GO 901 BPS Scheme... Builders and complicit officials must be penalized : Lok Satta Party

Lok Satta Party today strongly condemned the Government's move to penalize middle class house/apartment owners for the crimes committed by officials and builders, through G.O. No.901 meant to regularize unauthorized constructions and violations of sanctioned plan.

"Penalties should be collected from the builders who have obtained occupancy fitness certificates despite construction irregularities. If builders do not pay, the government can even employ provisions of the Revenue Recovery Act. In any case innocent house/apartment owners who have borrowed heavily and invested their lifetime savings to acquire a shelter in our cities should not be punished", Lok Satta Party President Dr.Jayaprakash Narayan (Dr. JP) demanded in a statement.

Dr. JP said that Lok Satta Party is totally with the owners and residents of homes and apartments across the State, in this matter. "If necessary, we are prepared go to court challenging the impractical and unviable provisions of the G.O. The Government has no right to demolish buildings other than the clearly unsafe ones", he said.

Dr. JP said: "The Government, which has turned a Nelson's eye to irregularities in constructions since the past 22 years, now wants to make the common and middle class people scapegoats by imposing stiff penalties on them. Why should ordinary people be penalized even as builders and officials guilty of corruption and dereliction of duty are let off scot-free?"He pointed out that the Government has been issuing fitness certificates and collecting taxes from them all these years despite construction irregularites.

Dr. JP reminded that the Government, which had previously closed its eyes while approving layouts and land registrations, later attempted (in 2007) to take over these plots of land purchased by common people on the ground they were Assigned Lands. The Government beat a retreat when Lok Satta Party drew the Chief Minister's attention to the plight of common people and the irrationality of the Government move. Likewise, Lok Satta led a citizens' movement (that began in Kukatpally) against irregularities and corruption in the Building Regularization Scheme, in1998-99. This campaign subsequently led to the ushering in of Citizen's Charters in the Municipalities of our State and Right to Information Act in our country. If necessary, Lok Satta Party will initiate a people's movement once again, in order to bring in greater transparency and accountability in the present building regularization process.

Dr.JP pointed out that the Government is guilty of indirectly encouraging the public to indulge in irregularities by promulgating impractical construction regulations."Again, the regularization fees now prescribed are irrational since they are common to Hyderabad, Visakhapatnam and Vijayawada and make no distinction between just constructed buildings and 20-year-old ones and the differences in market rates of land and constructions. This is nothing but sheer exploitation of the public by the Government with the threat of brute use of force".

Dr. JP wanted the Government to punish officials who permitted illegal structures, construction irregularities or neglected supervision. These steps should mark the beginning of a total revamp of the town planning department.

Lok Satta welcomes suspension of Building regularization orders

Hyderabad, Jan. 20

The Lok Satta Party today welcomed the Government decision to suspend the building regularization orders, which had sought to penalize ordinary people for crimes committed by officials and builders.

The Lok Satta Party had launched an agitation against the orders both in the districts and in Hyderabad city.

Lok Satta Party President Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan (Dr. JP) reiterated in a statement that penalties for regularization of apartments should be collected from officials and builders who were guilty of dereliction of their duties and not owners. Only in respect of independent houses, owners who deviated from approved plans should be made to pay the penalty.

Dr. JP also urged the Government to rationalize the proposed penalties considering factors like the location of buildings, and the year and cost of their construction.