CHENNAI: After the Madras High Court reprimanded officials for not complying with its orders on dealing with applications under Section 80-A of the Tamil Nadu Town and Country Planning Act, 1971, the State government is now working on preparing guidelines and standard operating procedures for issuing notices, including revision petitions, under the section.
Usually when a plan received for approval is against the norms, it is rejected and notice is issued under Section 56 of the Town and Country Planning Act. After that, authorities invoke Section 80 of the Act to lock and seal the premises.
Aggrieved parties can seek remedy against such actions through an appeal under Section 80-A. Usually, violators appeal to the government seeking a stay on lock-and-seal notices. In many cases, interim orders are issued to stay the lock-and-seal notices with the condition that deviations be rectified within a specific period.
These conditional orders are not followed up by authorities and they are used as a tool to legalise unauthorised constructions, sources said. The order to set up the new panel was issued by Housing Department Secretary Hiteshkumar S Makwana after it was found that most of the appeals preferred under Section 80-A are irrelevant and appeals were received even in cases where notices were served calling for approved plan.
The Madras High Court, while hearing a contempt petition on February 3, had directed the government pleader to ascertain the number of revision petitions pending with the government and to submit the break-up details of all pending revision petitions filed under Section 80-A, the rate of disposal and difficulties in disposing of the petitions.
According to sources, an eight-member committee has been formed to come up with guidelines and formats for issuing enforcement notices. Members of the panel include joint secretary of municipal administration and water supplies department, additional secretary of law department, chief planner of CMDA, joint director of the Directorate of Town and Country Planning, and deputy director of commissionerate of municipal administration.