The state government on Tuesday issued a notification that gives local self-government bodies the right to decide the fee they would charge for regularizing unauthorized constructions in civic limits.
The notification follows demand from many local bodies to reduce the compounding fees. The notification said the decision was taken after “various planning authorities in the state communicated various issues that cropped up during implementation and requested the government to reduce the compounding charges required to be paid in such cases”.
The notification assumes significance because the elected members in the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) are contemplating reduction of charges. A proposal to cut the charges by 80% was approved by the city improvement committee. The proposal is under consideration of the general body of the PMC and is expected to sail through after the state’s notification.
Corporators in PMC demanded the reduction, saying it would provide relief to many citizens. Elected members claimed that the common citizens, duped by builders, were suffering because of heavy compounding charges.
The state government in 2017 had given approval to a scheme for compounding the unauthorized constructions. Constructions carried out before December 31, 2015, are eligible for the scheme.
The scheme did not get good response in Pune with owners of only around 40 properties approaching the civic body to get their constructions regularized in the past six months. Though the move would be a relief to those having unauthorized properties, the civic activists have termed it unjust.
“Only reduction of charges will not help much. If the property owners have not followed all the other norms, the properties should not be compounded,” said Vishwas Sahastrabuddhe of Sajag Nagrik Manch, a citizens’ forum.
He said major discounts for regularizing illegal properties would encourage more such unauthorized constructions.