A.P. Building Rules 2012, a comprehensive set of regulations for urban regions, gives relaxations to smaller plots and at the same time brings in steps to control unauthorised constructions, writes V. Geetanath

Andhra Pradesh Building Rules 2012, the uniform and comprehensive set of regulations for urban regions in the State has given relaxations to the smaller plots and at the same time has brought in stringent enforcement steps to control unauthorised constructions.

If reducing front setbacks for plots between 50-300 sq,mts substantially depending on the road widths as well as allowing building permissions for less than 50 sq.mts plots and 50 sq.mts-100 sq.mts comes as a boon to small land owners, bigger constructions come under greater vigil.

Constructions coming in plots bigger than 300 sq.mts have to obtain the mandatory occupancy certificate issued on submission of the completion certificate which has all the details of the construction like the number of floors, setbacks, building usage, parking space, abutting road widths, etc.

Respective municipal corporations and municipalities should approve or refuse the OC within a fortnight or issue the same after levying the compounding fee. Usually, it is charged if violations cross the 10 per cent mark and in the capital the fee are Rs.5, 000 per sq.ft for residential buildings and Rs.8000 sq.ft for commercial buildings.

A major change has been made here, instead of the uniform rate, the penal fee would be 100 per cent of the land value as fixed by the registration department at the time of compounding for the violated portion and this could be revised periodically. However, this is not applicable for the buildings constructed without the sanctioned plan.

The 10 per cent mortgage clause too would be made applicable for constructions in more than 300 sq.mts where the built up space in ground, first or second floor is handed over to the local sanctioning authority through a notarised affidavit by the owner. The same would be entered in the prohibitory property watch register of the Registration Department.

Mortgaged space cannot be sold and if an owner deviates from the sanctioned plan it becomes the property of the sanctioned authority. Power, water and sewer connections are to be denied to buildings not taking the OC or alternatively, three times the tariff has to be collected till such time the certificate is produced. In addition, every year twice the property tax is to be collected as penalty from the owner/occupier. Registration Department too is to register the permitted built area as per the sanctioned plan. But, these decisions are pending the respective Acts. Financial institutions too should extend loan facilities only to the permitted built up area as per the sanctioned building plan.

“New common rules are self-regulatory and transparent. Occupancy certificates and completion certificates will be having all the details of the building plan without the need for scanning the map,” explained Director of Town and Country Planning B. Purushothama Reddy, a key member of think tank which worked on the rules.

The sanctioning authority has to also ensure that the public and semi-public buildings are constructed disable friendly and provide facilities for specially enabled persons as per National Building Code -2005 of India while issuing the OC. High rises have to obtain fire services clearances.

For the first time, an environment impact assessment report is being sought for constructions of more than 20,000 sq.mts built up from the A.P. Pollution Control Board. Special regulations for the Banjara Hills and Jubilee Hills remain but major change is allowing apartments and commercial buildings to come up restricted to 15 meters including stilt floor.

But, this is not applicable to Jubilee Hills Cooperative House Building Society and Prashasanagar Cooperative Houses Building Society layout where the buildings height restrictions remain at 10 metres. Plots abutting Road Nos. 1, 2&3 Banjara Hills and Road No.36 Jubilee Hills the buildings height are limited to 30 metres and height relaxations are allowed for plots where the land has been or will be surrendered for road widening.