Amnesty scheme for house plan violations

An excavator demolishes an illegal construction in Bhubaneswar. 
Picture by Ashwinee Pati

Bhubaneswar: The urban development authority will re-launch its amnesty scheme for citizens that allow them to regularise the constructions they have made against the original approved plan on legal land.

Bhubaneswar Development Authority officials will meet chief secretary A.P. Padhi on March 17 to fix the modalities for the scheme. Development authority vice-chairman Krishan Kumar will make a presentation on it before inviting feedback from experts and rolling out the scheme.

The development authority, instead of demolishing illegal structures on adjacent lands, will legally regularise those as part of the scheme. Residents will have to apply for amnesty and the development authority will charge an amount based on square feet area.

"A large number of people deviate from the original building plan. It is not possible to take action against them and demolish all such structures since many exist in dense housing areas. The scheme is a compromise to deal with such violations," said a senior development authority official.

Through the scheme, the development authority hopes to take in extra revenue. "It will help the people and the government since it will act as a major solution in land deals," said the official.

The scheme was first launched according to the BDA Planning and Building Standard Regulation, 2001, but was dropped through an amendment in 2008. Sources said that a notification would be issued by the end of March to re-include the scheme as per the third amendment made to the regulations.

"People already regularise illegal constructions if the deviation does not exceed the 10 per cent limit. However, the renewed scheme will raise that limit to 50 per cent," said a housing and urban development official.

In the earlier scheme, the development authority collected compounding fees at a fixed Rs 25 per sqft. This fee is likely to be calculated based on the benchmark price fixed by the government, sources said.


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