Sakrama scheme termed unfair

Special Correspondent

It violates the rights of law-abiding neighbours, says NGO

Many building bylaws are meant to ensure neighbours have adequate light and ventilation

Regularisation is in violation of the constitutional rights of neighbours

MYSORE: The State Government’s decision to regularise unauthorised constructions and building bylaw violations by charging a penalty has drawn the ire of NGOs, who have pointed out that the constitutional rights of the neighbours of those who have broken the rules are being violated.

A Government Order was issued calling for a one-time regularisation under the Akrama-Sakrama Scheme, and December 14 is the last date for regularisation of such illegal constructions that violate the building bylaws and setback regulations by an extent of 50 per cent for residential structures and 25 per cent for commercial buildings.

However, Ananda Thirtha of the Mysore Grahakara Parishat (MGP) has pointed out that such regularisation of illegal constructions, including violation of setback dimensions, can be objected to on several counts, but the most serious objections is that such regularisation does not address the rights of the neighbours under Article 21 to adequate light and ventilation.

Public health

He says the purpose of many building bylaws is to provide neighbours with adequate light and ventilation in the interest of public health. “If prescribed setbacks are violated, the neighbours are denied this fundamental right in perpetuity. Regularising setback violations by levying a one-time fine is unfair to the neighbour since his right to a healthy environment with adequate light and ventilation will continue to be violated for ever.

Therefore, in the interest of justice, building violations that adversely affect the light and ventilation of a neighbour should not be regularised by a one-time fine,” said Mr. Thirtha.

The parishat has mooted the idea of a steep increase in the property tax of such buildings by 500 per cent so that the owners of such illegal buildings will continue to pay for the violation every year as long as the violation remains standing.

Property tax

The parishat also says this approach is definitely fairer than regularisation with a one-time fine because if the property tax enhancement is sufficiently high, the owner might find it more expedient to demolish the illegal portions of the building on his own, thus setting right the bylaw violation.

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