Unauthorised constructions: Act or face the music, Madras High Court tells CMDA

Several buildings have been issued lock and seal notices but CMDA is yet to act against these buildings.
Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority (CMDA) office. (File photo)
Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority (CMDA) office. (File photo)

CHENNAI:  The state government is yet to take action against unauthorised constructions, as the violators have allegedly applied to Section 113-C of the Town and Country Planning Act that will grant amnesty to such buildings built before 2007 under the new regularisation scheme.  

This has put the government in trouble recently with the  Madurai Bench of Madras HC ordering Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority (CMDA) member secretary Anshul Mishra to decide on the application filed under Section 113-C as expeditiously as possible. 

Several buildings have been issued lock and seal notices but CMDA is yet to act against these buildings.
Judge S Vaidyanathan of Madurai Bench of Madras  HC said in a recent judgement, “We are informed that several applications under Section 80 A, wherein the building is locked and sealed are pending for years even after orders of the court. In  appropriate cases, if contempt is filed, and in case there is wilful and  deliberate disobedience, the court will impose imprisonment and  imposition of a fine shall be secondary, to make the officials work and  to comply with court orders.”

The scheme, introduced in 2017 by amending the Town and Country Planning Act and bringing in  Section 113-C to grant amnesty to buildings built before  2007, has been a non-starter giving ample time for the violators as the state is yet to proceed against them. Interestingly, the amnesty scheme for unauthorised buildings which lapsed on September 20, 2022, has not been extended.

Around 3,000 applications under Section -113C are kept pending approval following the Madras HC order. Similarly, CMDA is also dilly-dallying on taking action against unauthorised buildings of high and mighty in the city by failing to convene the meeting of the High Court-appointed Monitoring Committee to decide on the fate of 148 buildings claiming exemption under Section 113-A of the Town and Country Planning Act. 

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