HYDERABAD: Unauthorised constructions are a dime a dozen in Hyderabad. But take note, it’s also double the risk now. Having to witness the demolition of their own building aside, the owner of the property would now also have to pay for it. As part of its decision to take illegal constructions to task, the GHMC has now decided to recover the ‘demolition cost’ from the owners of illegal properties.
The penalty imposed for the illegal demolitions by the Town Planning wing of the civic body would be Rs 10 per square feet up to the ground plus one upper floor. This is, again, at a minimum cost of Rs 10,000. For the upper floors, Rs 20 per square feet would be charged. This is also subject to a minimum cost of Rs 10,000.
The Assistant City Planners (ACPs) of all 30 GHMC circles have been authorised to issue a demand notice as per the above rates to the owner of the building. The owner, in turn, has to pay the same within three days of receiving the notice. The fine can be paid at the nearest Citizen Service Centre of GHMC. The said proposals, meant to penalise the erring owners for unauthorised constructions in Greater Hyderabad, have been approved by the Standing Committee.
GHMC officials told Express that the decision to recover the demolition cost from the owners was made because the corporation incurred considerable losses in the demolition of structures, because of the man power and machinery employed in razing the buildings. Also, the fact that there has been an increase in the construction of unauthorised structures, possibly due to the lack of fear among citizens or even the negligence of the Town Planning staff in taking action.The officials further stated that the enforcement powers have been conferred on the GHMC Commissioner, under various provisions of GHMC Act. The powers to take timely action on unauthorised constructions have been delegated to the Circle Offices.
As per the existing procedures, the cost incurred towards the demolition of these buildings is being borne with the corporation funds. This has become a financial impediment to the corporation.
It may be mentioned that as per Section 452 (2) of the GHMC Act, if a person fails to show sufficient cause as required under the act, such building or work can be removed, altered or pull down. Also, under Section 461 (3), the cost of any measures taken under these rules needs to be paid by the said person.
“We have hence invoked the provisions of the GHMC Act to recover the expenses incurred towards the demolition of illegal constructions,” the officials added.