Himachal Pradesh Assembly today was adjourned sine die after passing five bills, including one that paves way for “regularisation” of illegal constructions in some areas on “as is, where is” basis for a payment of nominal compounding fee.
Both the ruling and Opposition parties of the house supported the ‘Town and Country Planning (amendment) Bill’ and some of them even wanted the compounding fee be “further reduced”.
The bill not only provides for regularisation of deviations up to 70 per cent but even the buildings constructed without any sanctioned building plan would be regularised.
However, there would be no exemption for regularisation of constructions in green and heritage areas, encroached lands and pockets kept for parks, sewerage or other facilities and the parking converted into other use, except in cases where alternate equivalent and excess space is available for parking.
The regularisation fee would be Rs 800 per sq m and would be charged in case of deviation from building plan within municipal areas while the same would be half for buildings outside municipal areas.
In case no permission had been taken for development, the regularisation fee would be Rs 1200 per sq m in municipal areas and Rs 600 per sq m in areas outside the municipal limits.
The regularisation fee would be doubled in case of commercial, hotel, tourism and industrial or other use.
The owners of illegal buildings would be given 60 days time to apply for regularisation after the bill gets assent from the Governor and notified in the Gazette.
The number of unauthorised buildings stood at 13,000 until March 31, but is likely to increase to 25,000 as more time has been afforded to the violators to get the illegal constructions regularised.
The House also passed the Himachal Pradesh National Law University bill for setting up Law University in the state.
The BJP members wanted that Governor and not the Chief Justice of High Court should be Chancellor of the University, but the government did not agree and argued that same pattern was being followed in all national law universities.
The House also passed the bills prohibiting the sale of loose cigarettes/beedis and compulsory registration of tobacco dealers, bill making sale of intoxicating drugs unauthorisedly, “cognisable and non-bailable” and two bills amending the Municipal Corporation Act and Municipal Committees Act to enhance the amount of fine on the offences covered under the twin acts.