Shimla, Aug 28 IANS | 2 months ago

Himachal Pradesh Thursday brought an ordinance which will pave the way to regularise over 20,000 unauthorised structures in the state, an official said.

The cabinet, presided over by Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh, brought the ordinance - Himachal Pradesh Town and Country Planning Act of 1977 (amendment) Ordinance 2014 - to make necessary amendments in the act, a government spokesperson told IANS.

He said the violators would have to pay prescribed fees to get the buildings, both commercial and residential, regularized.

The proposed amendments in the act would be made once the assembly passes the bill, he added.

Official sources said the chief minister introduced the Himachal Pradesh Town and Country Planning (amendment) Bill 2014 in the budget session in February to amend the act which will regularise unauthorised constructions.

But expecting a backlash from the opposition BJP, the chief minister at the last moment had decided not to go ahead with it and referred the bill to a committee.

The spokesperson said the decision to bring the ordinance at this point was taken after the cabinet approved the recommendations of the committee.

While introducing the amendment bill Feb 19, Urban Development Minister Sudhir Sharma had said the amendment was necessitated as the "high court had taken serious notice of the grim situation and asked the government not to regularise the total unauthorised constructions".

"Considering this and the practice followed in other metropolitan cities to deal with the illegal constructions, it has been considered more appropriate to make a special provision in the Himachal Pradesh Town and Country Planning Act of 1977 for a specific period of one year as a one-time exemption by charging composition fee," he had said.

The minister had said the demolition of such large-scale unauthorised structures was neither feasible nor practicable.

A special provision has been made in the bill to regularise unauthorised construction up to 70 percent by way of composition for one year from the commencement of the amendment act, he had added.

(Posted on 28-08-2014)

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