The State Government has agreed in principle to amend various sections of the Tamil Nadu Town and Country Planning Act for effective enforcement and for providing solution to unauthorised constructions made prior to July 1, 2007, as recommended by the Justice S Mohan committee, the government stated in its counter-affidavit filed in the Madras High Court on Thursday.
A draft bill was being prepared for placing the amendments before the Tamil Nadu Assembly during the winter session. The counter was filed in response to the batch of writ petitions from the T Nagar traders, who sought to remove the seal and lock on their premises. Earlier on April 2 this year, the court had directed the State Government to decide on the panel’s report.
The panel, headed by the retired Supreme Court Judge S Mohan, was constituted to consider all aspects of development and suggest necessary modifications to the Town and Country Planning Act. As per the court’s direction, J Radhakrishnan, Secretary (in charge), Housing and Urban Development, filed the counter stating that the government considered the committee’s report and after deliberations, agreed in principle to amend Sections 57 (power to stop unauthorised development), 83 (general provision regarding penalties), 84 (disobedience of summons, requisitions, etc., and referred to give information, etc.), 85 (restoration of property to original state where it is dealt within contravention of sections 47 and 48), 86(general provisions for punishment for breach of provisions of the development plan), 89 (cognisance of offences) and 113 (exemption of any land or buildings or class of lands or buildings from all or any of the provision of this Act or rules or regulations.) The guidelines would also be amended.
The official said the committee made several recommendations including provision for exemption of violated buildings constructed before July 1, 2007 subject to certain limitation on violation, compliance of safety measures and levy of
penalty. Action had already been taken on suggestions which included strengthening of enforcement measures by partially amending various provisions of the law and provision for regulation of development in non-plan areas.
A proposed section 113-C and guidelines along with stringent enforcement and penal provisions recommended by the panel to manage the problem of large scale deviations and to discourage unauthorised development is also to be brought in.
Considering the importance of conservation of beauty of hill areas, compliance of the Tamil Nadu District Municipality (Hill station) Building Rules and the Tamil Nadu Hill Area Special Building Rules had also been included in addition to those proposed by the committee, in the guidelines proposed for regularisation of unauthorised development.
The government had also decided that any development in any other eco-sensitive area should not be considered for exemption under the proposed Section 113-C to preserve the area. The affidavit also detailed the proposed guidelines for regularisation of unauthorised developments made prior to July 1, 2007 and penal charges proposed in this regard.
The guidelines under the proposed section 113-C included that the building should have been completed by July 1, 2007.