THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Cabinet on Wednesday decided to recommend to Governor P. Sathasivam to promulgate ordinances to amend the Kerala Panchayat Raj Act and Rules and Kerala Municipality Act to regularise unauthorised buildings, including commercial structures, constructed before July 31, 2017.
This applies only to violations of building rules. Structures constructed in violation of fire and rescue stipulations, CRZ norms, on encroached land, poramboke and green zone do not fall within the purview of the new regularisation.
Buildings will be regularised without compromising on safety, strength and by charging compounding fees.
Additions and alterations to existing structures and maintenance work fall within the ambit of the regularization.
Powers to regularise unauthorised buildings within panchayat limits would be vested in a high-level committee comprising the District Town Planner, Deputy Director and secretaries of local bodies concerned.
In urban areas, the regularisation would be approved by a committee, comprising the District Town Planner, Regional Joint Dire-ctor (Urban Affairs) and secretaries of local bodies concerned.
Two factors have gone into the Cabinet decision: it is impossible to disman-tle/demolish residential and commercial structures though the existing law stipulates punitive provisions. It has been found to be prudent legalise such buildings and levy fine depending on the severity of deviations or violations from approved plans.
Categorisation of buildings, the extent of plinth area, floor-area ratio and setback and the compounding fee will have to be clarified in rules.
The switch to the new system of plan approval through the software, Sanketham, necessitates making a clean breast of the building sector. The applicant who submits a plan using the new software would get an upfront acceptance or rejection, only after which the construction can start.