Fine for exemptions in floor area ratio and open space requirement; FAR up to 3.25 will now be given exemption; Rs.500 crore expected to be realised as fine

The Urban Affairs Ministry is gearing up for regularising residential and commercial buildings constructed in violation of the Kerala Municipal Building Rules till December 31, 2008 by levying a substantial fine. Floor area ratios (FAR) up to 3.25, above the legal limit of 2.75, and parking and open spaces that have only up to half the prescribed distance will be given exemption.

Buildings constructed alongside State and National Highways with just 1.5 metres of open space in front, instead of the mandatory 3 metres, will thus be regularised. Similar concessions have been mooted in the case of parking space for residential and commercial buildings and cinemas and marriage halls.

Around Rs.500 crore expected to be realised on this score will be spent on enhancing the parking facilities and strengthening roads in urban areas.

Urban Affairs Minister Manjalamkuzhi Ali is understood to have given directions for amending the rules for notifying the Kerala Building (Regularisation of Unauthorised Constructions) Rule for Municipalities, 2012. The time limit is likely to be extended in view of the public demand.

The decision for regularising unauthorised constructions has been made on the basis of a random inspection conducted by a team headed by Ajayakumar, Senior Town Planner (Vigilance), in July. Mr. Ajayakumar had reported to the government that of the 250 buildings inspected in the four Corporations and select municipal areas, 197 were illegal. A fine of Rs. 35 crore can be levied from them.