Gandhinagar: After having extended the law to regularise unauthorised constructions in return for an impact fee, the Gujarat Government on Monday passed a legislation in the State Assembly to extend the time limit for applying for this scheme by four more months.
Defending the extension, senior minister Rishikesh Patel claimed that the bill was not for the builders but for the common people who may have made some changes in their homes or offices for their use. This law would help them regularize their unauthorized constructions and “have peace of mind.”
Law for homeowners
Speaking in the state Assembly, the minister claimed that with the state’s rapid development, the problem of unauthorized construction has increased. He said 48% of the population lived in cities and people might have done constructions without any motive for money.
“The law will not help the builders in a big way. The government has ensured that irregularities like additional FSI, blatant violation of margin and parking spaces and similar provisions are not regularised,” Patel said.
He said the scheme had not evoked much response since it was election time when it was announced. “The government has received representations from various nagarpalikas, panchayats and municipal corporations to extend the scheme,” the minister said.
Bill for the third time in 23 years
Deputy Opposition leader Shailesh Parmar said the BJP Government had brought the bill for the third time in 23 years. “The common people have always been at the receiving end while civic officials, corporators and builders have benefitted,” Parmar asserted.
He said he had drawn the attention about an illegal construction in his constituency Danilimda in Ahmedabad to the municipal corporation officers but no action was taken.
Meanwhile, senior Congress leader Arjun Modhwadia stunned the House when he alleged that the “Kamalam” office of the BJP itself was illegal. He claimed that the building plan was not put up before the committee concerned while authorities didn’t inspect the structure before giving it permission.
Many senior ministers like Rishikesh Patel, Harsh Sanghavi, Jagdish Vishwakarma, senior BJP MLAs Jitu Vaghani and Purnesh Modi were present but none protested to Modhwadia’s allegations. Finally, a first-time MLA from Rajkot Uday Kangad raised a point of order asserting that the Congress leader should have evidence to back his accusations.
However, the MLA was left speechless when Modhwadia replied that he was referring to the Kamalam office in his constituency Porbandar and asked, “Which Kamalam you thought?” The Gujarat BJP headquarters in Gandhinagar is also referred by the same name.
Meanwhile, Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation has received 12,671 applications for impact fees, of which only 105 have been approved. The number of applications to regularise illegal constructions from across Gujarat are about 57,000.
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