Hyderabad: The Assembly passed on Friday, the Municipalities Act 2019, which extensively empowers district collectors and takes away the power of ministers to grant a stay on orders against errant municipal chairpersons. Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao said, “Tablets and tonics are no longer enough. Surg-ery is needed.”
While explaining the features of the new legislation, Mr Rao said that the act contained stringent provisions to take action against errant personnel, public representatives, government officials and citizens. He said that from August 15, the state will see “real-time administration, something that the rest of the country will want to learn from.”
Referring to the power of ministers in staying orders passed by the collectors against municipal chairpersons and village sarpanches, the Chief Minister said that the Act will remove these powers.
He announced that no permission is required for the poor to construct houses on plot sizes of less than 75 square yards and Rs 100 property tax each will be collected from such houses annually. People who build houses of plot sizes of less than 500 sq.m. will have to apply online and permission will be granted in 15 days.
Maintaining that the state government has faith in people, he said that the act has provision of self-certification to declare property taxes.
“Self-certification is like the Bhagavad Gita. Misuse will result in serious punishment. If anyone makes a wrong declaration and gets caught during surprise inspections, they will have to pay a penalty 25 times of their assessed property tax.”
Stating that the new Act empowers ULBs to demolish illegal structures without any notice, the Chief Minister said, “There is no question of sparing anyone. The message that breaking the law will never be profitable must be sent to all. A scare is needed. Breaking the law will be a losing proposition.”
The Chief Minister said the government will set up a Centre for Urban Excellence in Hyderabad to give continuous training to elected representative and staff and officers of the ULBs.
The Chief Minister said that the power of sanctioning of permissions for layouts in ULBs was given to the collectors under the act and final approval will be granted to the layout only after the registration of open space under the layout in the name of the municipality concerned....