CHENNAI: The Housing department is mulling extending the deadline for the regularisation of buildings with violations, owing to no takers for state government's clemency scheme that was announced to help building owners to get an exemption from implications. This comes in the wake of the window for the much talked about '113-C scheme' closing on December 21.
According to a housing department official, there are nearly 5 lakh buildings with building rules and plan violations in Tamil Nadu, of which nearly 1.5 lakh buildings are located in the Chennai metropolitan area (CMA). The scheme has received poor response from the building owners. To enable more to apply under this scheme, the department is contemplating extending the deadline by a further 6 months, the official added.
The state government had appended 113-C section to Tamil Nadu Town and Country Planning Act, 1972 by adhering to a High Court direction. The six-month scheme, which is ending on December 21, was rolled out on June 22. “In Chennai metropolitan area, only 30 applications are received against 1.5 lakh violated buildings. So, the idea of extending the deadline for 6 more months is on the cards. Penalty and regularization fees will also be reduced and an announcement in this regard will be out soon”, an insider said.
“The scheme is helpful to both the department and building owners as we can earn revenue from penalties. Regularised buildings will escape implications such as lock and seal and demolition. More buildings will be regularised if the deadline extends”, the official added. The building owners and builders cite exorbitant regularisation fees for their opting out from regularising their buildings. “When the government announced 113-C scheme, the fees were fixed proportionately to the guideline values. This is a very huge amount and one can buy a new second-hand flat at that cost.
If the government is going for reducing fees and extending deadline, it should slash the fees to 10 percent of guideline values. Then only the scheme will fructify”, S. Ram Prabhu, Secretary, Builders' Association of India, said. Meanwhile, S. Ram Prabhu pointed out a legal hurdle in regularising violated buildings. “The court directed the authorities to receive and process applications, but it also ordered to not to provide regularisation certificates till further order.
Last time, when a similar scheme implemented, the cut off date was fixed up to 1999. But the date was extended for a further 3 years. Many building owners who applied then are still waiting to get their buildings regularised. When extending the deadline, the government should consider these hurdles”, Ram Prabhu urged.