CHENNAI: The State government is ready with draft rules and guidelines to regularise or grant amnesty to unauthorised buildings built before July 1, 2007. This comes after the Madras High Court gave four weeks deadline to the State to notify rules, following a petition by activist litigant ‘Traffic’ KR Ramaswamy in the wake of the Chennai Silks fire in T Nagar.
This is the second time such buildings are being granted amnesty, which has been challenged by the Madras High Court-appointed Monitoring Committee of Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority (CMDA).
The committee stated that such amnesty is a one-time measure, and giving amnesty to unauthorised developers would violate the letter and spirit of development regulations and encourage illegal developments, resulting in unplanned cities and infrastructure concerns.
The Section 113-C amendments came into being after the government constituted a committee under Justice Mohan to look into all aspects of developments, and to suggest amendments to the Town and Country Planning Act. Guidelines of the new amendment (Section 113-C) were struck down by the High Court, resulting in the government appointing the Justice Rajeswaran Committee to frame new guidelines.
These directions, which have been tabled before the Cabinet, states that regularisation application that was refused under the earlier amnesty scheme under Section 113 A — which regularised unauthorised constructions built before February 29, 1999 — may be considered for regularisation under the new scheme.
Similarly, those applications pending under Section 113-B of Town and Country Planning Act, which was inserted in 2002 to regularise unauthorised constructions in Coimbatore, Madurai, Trichy, Salem and Tirunelveli Corporations, will be remitted for disposal under Section 113-C.
The government has partially accepted the Justice Rajeswaran Committee’s proposal to include all unauthorised buildings built prior to July 1, 2007 and having height of up to 17.25 metres under the category of special building, irrespective of number of floors. These building are eligible for regularisation.
Even buildings that fail to adhere to parking norms could face exemption, as it is being proposed to exempt parking norms with payment of penalties. This could be `10,000 for residential buildings without car parking inside and outside Chennai Metropolitan Area (CMA).
For unauthorised commercial buildings failing to adhere to parking norms, the fine is `1 lakh within CMA, and `50,000 outside CMA. Unauthorised buildings that don’t have parking facilities for two-wheelers will have to pay `2,500 as penalty.
Modalities for regularisation
This will be a voluntary disclosure scheme, and all applications will be received online
Applications collected online will be segregated and forwarded to concerned authorities for issue of regularisation or rejection order
For ordinary buildings in CMA, regularisation will be processed by concerned local bodies
Applications should have building plan duly certified by registered architect or licensed surveyor or engineer indicating violations
Applications for regularisations other than ordinary, special and group developments of residential use should have structural stability certificate and NOC from Directorate of Fire and Rescue Services
A total of six months from the date of notification will be given to the unauthorised construction to file regularisation application
All applications will be processed within three months from the last date of receipt of applications
Those unauthorised buildings which fail to apply within six months will be levied a penalty of enhanced property tax of 200 per cent of normal tax payable