Hyderabad

Whistleblowers on building violations to get incentivised

Unlawful buildings will attract a jail term up to three years, a fine of up to 25% of land or building value besides recovery of the demolition cost from the owner.

Unlawful buildings will attract a jail term up to three years, a fine of up to 25% of land or building value besides recovery of the demolition cost from the owner.   | Photo Credit: Mohammed_Yousuf

New municipal Act also lists how unauthorised constructions will be tackled

The Telangana Municipalities Act introduced by the government last week says that citizen whistleblowers informing the municipal bodies or district Collectors concerned about any unauthorised constructions or constructions in violation of the sanctioned plan will be ‘incentivised’ if the information given by them is found to be correct.

Identity of such informers too will be kept confidential, it says. However, the new Act does not indicate what kind of ‘incentives’ will be given to such citizen whistle-blowers. It also lists some clear-cut directions on how unauthorised constructions will be tackled and penalties for those resorting to them.

Mortgage clause

While individual residential buildings of up to 200 sq.mts with a height of upto 7 metres are exempt from the mortgage clause, in other buildings the applicant has to hand over 10% of the ground or first or second floor to the municipality as mortgage before release of building permission. This mortgaged built-up area will be released after submission of the completion certificate and the occupancy certificate.

For non-high-rise buildings constructed in plots above 200 sq.mts and less than 500 sq.mts, the occupancy certificate will be issued online based on the self-certification submitted by owner/builder and attested by the licensed technical personnel stating that the building has been constructed as per the sanctioned plan. All three will be held personally responsible and accountable for any false declaration.

For high-rise buildings and those constructed on plots of 500 sq.mts and above, the applicant should submit self-certification attested by the licensed technical personnel upon which the occupancy certificate and mortgage will be issued within 15 days. Punishment for false declaration will attract penalty, demolition of building or taking over or sealing of property and even a jail term of three years.

Code of conduct

Municipal authorities are also to ensure that a ‘Code of Conduct’ is enforced to regulate certified architects, engineers and other licensed technical personnel. Names could be blacklisted and licences cancelled if they make false statements or in certification of drawings in violation of the building rules.

Unlawful buildings will not only attract a jail term up to three years, but also a fine of up to 25% of land or building value besides recovery of the demolition cost from the owner.

Illegal occupation of parking space will also attract a fine of up to 25% of land/building value as decided by the registration department.

The Act once again talks about appointing a municipal building tribunal to deal with offences relating to building regulations and land development, acting like a civil court.

Detailed planning scheme or local area plan will be prepared for specific areas in conformity with the master plan or indicative land use plan with detailed road network, green space, drainage, water lines, rain water harvesting structures and solid waste management.

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Printable version | Feb 18, 2020 12:59:05 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/whistleblowers-on-building-violations-to-get-incentivised/article28692652.ece

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