Himachal Passes Town and Country Planning Bill

Himachal Pradesh Governor gave assent to controversial HP Town and Country Planning (HPTCP) Amendment Bill 2016, paving way for regularisation of all illegal constructions in urban areas on “as is, where is” basis.

The Bill provides for regularisation of illegal structures irrespective of area and even multi-storied buildings constructed without getting any building plans sanctioned, qualify for regularization on nominal compounding fee.

Bill, which is further dilution of the Town and Country Planning (Amendment) ordinance promulgated on June 8, 2016 and provides for regularisation of building raised without any sanctioned plan on nominal charges, regularisation of structures without meeting the requirements of setbacks, regularising of Parking floors for other purposes and even the habitual offenders, who had availed the benefits under earlier retention policies will also be considered for regularisation.

To encourage the violators, the compounding fee which was nominal in the ordinance has been slashed to almost half and would be charged at flat rate of Rs 800 per sq mts in Municipal areas and Rs 400 per mts in rural areas which implies that unauthorised buildings valuing crores of rupees would be regularised by paying few thousands rupees.

In the Ordinance, it was clearly mentioned that space for setbacks would be left open by the proposed bill waives off the requirement of open space in the shape of “set-backs”.

Totally unauthorised buildings without an building plan would also be regularies on payment of compounding fee of Rs 1200 per sq mts in urban areas and Rs 600 per sq mts in rural areas and the violators would get further grace period of applying for regularisation as the effective date would be from notification of amended Act and 60 days time would afforded for filing applications.

The owners of unauthorised buildings which were not in the municipal or TCP area not required to apply for regularisation and their structures would stand regularised without applying for regularisation even though such buildings are the Planning areas. PCL DBS RG DBS

The move of the government to regularise illegal constructions on a massive scale had also drawn flak from High Court which had observed that the move of the government to regularise unauthorised constructions/encroachments “is suggestive of non-governance.”