Akrama Sakrama May Now Cover Properties Built After October 2013 in Bengaluru

As per this notification, buildings that have been deemed unauthorized till October 19, 2013 will have to apply and seek regularization.

Following the high court dismissing all the pleas against the Akrama Sakrama scheme on Tuesday, the government is now contemplating including properties constructed after October 19, 2013 for regularization. At present, only properties constructed before October 19, 2013 are eligible for regularization.

“Now, the first thing that the urban development department will have to do is to set the rules of the Karnataka Town and Country Planning (Regulation of Unauthorized Development or Constructions) Rules 2013, which was amended and effected from May 28, 2014.

As per this notification, buildings that have been deemed unauthorized till October 19, 2013 will have to apply and seek regularization.They had one year time to apply then. Now, with the litigations getting over, the government will have to reset the timeframe of buildings termed illegal till a very recent date and then issue orders for urban local bodies to start seeking applications,“ said BBMP commissioner N Manjunatha Prasad.

Earlier, when the department had notified the scheme on May 28, 2014, it called for properties declared illegal or having B khatas till October 19, 2013 to be legalized by March 22, 2015.

N Mukunda, member of Citizen Action Forum, said, “In the last three or four years, almost 80% of the buildings constructed have deviated from sanctioned plans.“

This means that the government will mop up more money through regularization of the additional number of properties registered after October 2013. According to a 2013 survey, there were 2.5 lakh illegal buildings within the BBMP limits alone. The numbers would have almost doubled by now. The BBMP, meanwhile, will begin training its staff on the regulations of the scheme, besides what and how to regularize illegal properties in the next two to three days. It also plans to make people aware on how to apply and what are the violations that be regularized.

“This should be the last chance for violators, and shouldn’t set a precedent for citizens to violate laws and get away by paying a fee,“ said Prasad. The rules also empower the municipalities (as competent authorities) to collect the fee in a separate account called the Urban Areas Infrastructure Development Fund.

About half of this fund should be used for development of parks and other open spaces, and the remaining half for provision of infrastructure like civic amenities, lighting, drinking water and drainage systems.

Since the time BBMP invited applications under the Akrama Sakrama scheme, it has received only a few hundreds. With the matter pending in the high court, people were wary of its legal implications. With the high court clearing decks for the scheme, the civic body is likely to receive more applications now.

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