‘Buyers knew, bought Campa flats cheap’

                                                                      


Mumbai: Will Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan do an Ulhasnagar in Mumbai? A day after Campa Cola residents proposed a draft ordinance to protect Mumbai’s pre-1991 illegal buildings in a bid to save their own unauthorised apartments, legal and civic experts are divided on whether the CM should bite the bullet.
   
The draft Regularization of Unauthorized Developments in the City of Mumbai Ordinance, 2013, seeks that all illegal buildings that have exceeded permissible FSI by up to 11 per cent should be granted protection on pay
ment of a penalty of Rs 40 per square metre.
   
Save for a few changes, the draft ordinance seems to have been lifted word to word from the 2006 Ulhasnagar ordinance, which was enacted to protect thousands of illegal buildings in the township that were facing demolition following a Bombay high court order.

   
Justice (retired) V G Palshikar, former acting chief justice of the HC, feels the government is well within its powers if it wants to bring in a law to save illegal buildings in Mumbai. “Ordinances are usually enacted for a particular purpose, in this case to help flat
owners who might have bought apartments without realising they were illegal. As long as it does not harm others, it is the government’s discretion to bring in a legislation,” he said.
   
But legal and civic planning experts questioned whether the state
government could pass such an ordinance in view of the impact it could have on the city.
   
“A major reason for refusal of regularsialtion was the Coastal Regulation Zone rules (a Central law). The state has no powers to come out with
an ordinance that affects a Central law. Moreover, extra FSI cannot be granted due to CRZ rules,” said advocate Y P Singh. “Such an ordinance can also be challenged on grounds that it is discriminatory as it seeks to regularize a specific category of violations which affect a small group from a few affluent housing societies. How can the government justify a wrong and seek to undo an SC order?” Singh asked.
   
Noted architect and planning expert P K Das said, “The government might be justified in coming to the aid of flat owners, but unfortunately in this debate the role of the developers has been ignored.”
   
He added, “Condoning one Campa Cola will pave the way for a 100 other Campa Colas. It will destroy and undermine planned development of the city. The government should simultaneously bring in laws to penalise developers who construct illegal buildings in blatant violation of laws. Otherwise Campa Colas will continue to be built and 10 years later, the government will again bring in an ordinance to protect them.”
   
Advocate Jamshed Mistry questioned whether the government could bring in an ordinance despite the apex court order. “While an ordinance on humanitarian grounds could be considered, the SC verdict was very clear in rejecting the plea for regularisation of unauthorised flats. Any ordinance that is brought in will be subject to debate and challenge in the courts,” said Mistry, who practises in the Bombay HC. “The question is whether the government should bring in an ordinance to save Campa Cola or have a broader outlook,” the advocate said.

 
Resident discharged from hospital O n day 6 of the hunger strike, the health of the five residents undertaking it continued to deteriorate. But Kapoorchand Jain (67), who had been admitted to hospital on Friday, was discharged on Saturday. MP Milind Deora, who is supporting the residents, has sent a letter to Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and to Law Minister Kapil Sibal. Campa Cola residents also sought legal opinion from retired Chief Justice Srikrishna on the ordinance.

NEW SUGGESTION AND PAST GOVT ACTION

CAMPA COLA RESIDENTS’ DRAFT
   

Regularizes all pre-February-1991 illegal buildings that exceed permissible FSI by up to 11%
   
Regularization on payment of a penalty of Rs 40 per square metre
   
Any penalty paid earlier to be adjusted against the premium to be charged for regularization
   
Regularization allowed in cases of violations relating to margins and setbacks, covered projections, construction without—or not in compliance with—sanctioned plans and building approvals, and parking deficiency
   
No regularizations to be permitted for illegal structures on public roads, water bodies, areas earmarked for hazardous industries, or if the buildings do not comply with fire safety measures or building stability norms
 

BANGALORE ORDINANCE OF 2013
   

Regularization of unauthorized residential and commercial buildings in urban areas constructed till end of 2013
   
Prescribes a penalty for regularizing various violations like setback, land use, buildings constructed on agriculture land, zoning laws, building byelaws and buildings constructed without approval


WHAT IS AN ORDINANCE?

If Parliament or the state legislature is not in session and an emergency situation arises, the president or governor can sign an ordinance proposed by the cabinet. The ordinance has to be subsequently passed as a law when the legislature meets

ULHASNAGAR ORDINANCE OF 2006
   
Protects illegal buildings constructed prior to Jan 2005
   
Buildings constructed up to an FSI of 4 can be regularized
   
Regularization in case of violations relating to margins and setbac
ks, FSI, covered projections, change of use, common or consolidated plot, building height, parking issues
   
Penalty to be charged at the rate of 10% to 20% of value of land in ready reckoner
   
No regularizations permitted for illegal structures on public roads, water bodies, areas earmarked for hazardous industries, or if the buildings do not comply with safety norms



Source : Times Of India





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