Hyderabad: To discourage unauthorised commercial constructions, the GHMC has decided to impose 400 per cent penalty on not only the structure (in the form of property tax) but also ask the electricity department and Hyderabad Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board to do the same.
If the property owner does not make the required changes in keeping with the rules in one financial year, the GHMC will cancel the trade licence and impose a ban on the establishment for a specific period. During the ban, the property will not be allowed to carry out any business.
These and a few other rules are mooted for inclusion in the new Municipal Act that the state government is drafting.
According to highly placed sources, the corporation had earlier planned to take possession of unauthorised structures and lease them. Additional floors constructed without authorisation would be taken possession of and used to set up basthi dawakhanas, libraries, indoor games and community halls. In prime areas, they would be leased out for commercial activities.
It was thought, however, that this may lead to legal complications with the owner approaching the courts claiming that the state can’t take possession of the property. A stay order would allow the owner could carry on her activities like renting the property out or using it for personal purposes.
The GHMC also has the experience of the imposition of the super structure tax with 100 per cent penalty. The civic body levied this tax on buildings that were voluntarily declared unauthorised by the building’s owner.
This had yielded better results, and several property owners have demolished unauthorised structures because of the huge penalty. However, those with deep pockets were happy to pay 100 per cent penalty since the rent in prime areas is much more than the super structure tax.
Mr K. Srinivas Rao, chairman of the Institute of Town Planners India, Telangana chapter, and its director of planning, said that imposing heavy penalties would be one of the solutions to curb unauthorised constructions but the corporation was not capable of identifying and demolishing these structures.
Mr Rao said that 80 per cent of the buildings are unauthorised and that the corporation cannot demolish them all. Thus the corporation has decided to impose 400 per cent penalty on all unauthorised structures. Either the building's owner demolishes the building or pays the heavy penalty. In addition, the trade licence of commercial properties will be cancelled, and if not rectified, commercial activity will be banned.
Mr Rao said that the corporation will not release the mortgaged built-up area in case of buildings constructed on an area of 200 square metres and above. The rules require the builder to mortgage 10 per cent of the built-up area.
He said the corporation will issue an occupancy certificate only when the structure is rectified as per the original plan. He said the architect and structural engineer will be taken to task for making faulty plans.
"The corporation will cancel the licence of such builders and blacklist them permanently. Architects sometimes give two building plans to the builders - one that meets the rules and another that deviates from the original plan after securing building permission," he said....