Pimpri: The Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) has recommended a reduction in the penalties for regularisation of unauthorised constructions by 50 per cent in the city due to poor response for regularisation despite State government's policy decision on the issue.
This recommendation was made through supplementary suggestions to the proposal for the modification in regularisation norms to get more response from the citizens.
The civic body has started a special cell for facilitating regularisation of unauthorised constructions, which took place before December 31, 2015. The government announcement regarding this was made last year when there were more than 66,000 unauthorised constructions in PCMC areas. The civic body has so far, received only nine applications.
Leader of House Eknath Pawar said, "The General Body has recommended that penalty should be reduced by 50 per cent, so that more people apply for regularisation and the civic body will get revenue."
This issue of regularisation of unauthorised construction dominated the electoral politics of the city in 2014 Assembly and Parliamentary elections. The erstwhile Congress-NCP government had appointed a committee of senior bureaucrat Sitaram Kunte to find possible solutions for this long-pending problem. But even before the committee could come up with its recommendation, the Assembly elections took place and the BJP came to power. The experts say that alleged failure of Congress-NCP government in addressing this issue cost them dearly, as they lost all Assembly and Parliamentary seats from PCMC.
Current city unit chief of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) changed loyalty from the NCP before the Assembly election over the unauthorised construction issue. He got an assurance from the BJP that the issue will be resolved. During election rallies, BJP promised that the party will solve the long standing issue within 100 days after coming to power.
The Kunte Committee submitted its formula to the BJP-led government, but the court ordered that formula for regularisation cannot be announced without prior permission of the court, as many existing laws are involved in this issue. Hence, it took three years for the announcement of formula. It was speculated that the civic body will get huge revenue from the regularisation from penalties to be paid by owners. However, even after the announcement of the policy in September, the PCMC has received just nine applications.
It was learnt that due to stringent terms and conditions for regularisation, owners of illegal constructions are reluctant to come forward. Now, the BJP also feels that there is a need to relax the terms and conditions and streamline the process for regularisation. A meeting was conducted at the mayor's chamber on Friday on this issue.
For the regularisation of constructions, the PCMC is going to charge four per cent development charges on current ready reckoner rates of the area and 16 per cent against penalties and basic amenities charges. Besides this, owners of unauthorised constructions will have to pay additional 20 per cent charges for regularising terraces, parking lots and staircases.