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Local bodies to have more say in plan approvals

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The Hindu         22.06.2017  

Local bodies to have more say in plan approvals

The Tamil Nadu government on Wednesday announced that local bodies would have a greater say in granting planning permission and building approvals in their jurisdictions.

Making a slew of announcements in the House, Municipal Administration and Rural Development Minister S.P. Velumani said, presently, local bodies were empowered to grant planning permission to residential buildings with a constructed area of up to 4,000 sq.ft only.

Suitable laws

This restriction would be eased and suitable legislation brought in to enable local bodies to grant approvals for the construction of buildings beyond 4,000 sq ft. Likewise, civic bodies would be vested with the authority to grant planning permission to commercial buildings beyond the prevailing stipulation of up to 2,000 sq.ft.

Time frame


The local bodies will be mandated to grant the planning permission within a specified time frame, failing which the permission shall be deemed to have been granted.

The government has also proposed to make it mandatory to apply for plan permissions only through the online mode.

If the local bodies do not decide on the building layout applications made online within 30 days, the land owners can consider that the applications have been approved and can commence construction work.

Relevant Acts would be amended to facilitate these decisions.

 

Unauthorised buildings get another lifeline

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The New Indian Express         13.06.2017  

Unauthorised buildings get another lifeline

For representational purpose only

CHENNAI: The State government is ready with draft rules and guidelines to regularise or grant amnesty to unauthorised buildings built before July 1, 2007. This comes after the Madras High Court gave four weeks deadline to the State to notify rules, following a petition by activist litigant ‘Traffic’ KR Ramaswamy in the wake of the Chennai Silks fire in T Nagar.

This is the second time such buildings are being granted amnesty, which has been challenged by the Madras High Court-appointed Monitoring Committee of Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority (CMDA).

The committee stated that such amnesty is a one-time measure, and giving amnesty to unauthorised developers would violate the letter and spirit of development regulations and encourage illegal developments, resulting in unplanned cities and infrastructure concerns.

The Section 113-C amendments came into being after the government constituted a committee under Justice Mohan to look into all aspects of developments, and to suggest amendments to the Town and Country Planning Act. Guidelines of the new amendment (Section 113-C) were struck down by the High Court, resulting in the government appointing the Justice Rajeswaran Committee to frame new guidelines.

These directions, which have been tabled before the Cabinet, states that regularisation application that was refused under the earlier amnesty scheme under Section 113 A — which regularised unauthorised constructions built before February 29, 1999 — may be considered for regularisation under the new scheme.

Similarly, those applications pending under Section 113-B of Town and Country Planning Act, which was inserted in 2002 to regularise unauthorised constructions in Coimbatore, Madurai, Trichy, Salem and Tirunelveli Corporations, will be remitted for disposal under Section 113-C.

The government has partially accepted the Justice Rajeswaran Committee’s proposal to include all unauthorised buildings built prior to July 1, 2007 and having height of up to 17.25 metres under the category of special building, irrespective of number of floors. These building are eligible for regularisation.

Even buildings that fail to adhere to parking norms could face exemption, as it is being proposed to exempt parking norms with payment of penalties. This could be `10,000 for residential buildings without car parking inside and outside Chennai Metropolitan Area (CMA).

For unauthorised commercial buildings failing to adhere to parking norms, the fine is `1 lakh within CMA, and `50,000 outside CMA. Unauthorised buildings that don’t have parking facilities for two-wheelers will have to pay `2,500 as penalty.

Modalities for regularisation
    This will be a voluntary disclosure scheme, and all applications will be received online
    Applications collected online will be segregated and forwarded to concerned authorities for issue of regularisation or rejection order
    For ordinary buildings in CMA, regularisation will be processed by concerned local bodies


    Applications should have building plan duly certified by registered architect or licensed surveyor or engineer indicating violations
    Applications for regularisations other than ordinary, special and group developments of residential use should have structural stability certificate and NOC from Directorate of Fire and Rescue Services
    A total of six months from the date of notification will be given to the unauthorised construction to file regularisation application
    All applications will be processed within three months from the last date of receipt of applications
    Those unauthorised buildings which fail to apply within six months will be levied a penalty of enhanced property tax of 200 per cent of normal tax payable
 

Two years on, Smart City projects set to take shape

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The Hindu         24.05.2017    

Two years on, Smart City projects set to take shape

This year, Chennai will spend around Rs. 100 crore to give itself a makeover

Two years after Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the Smart Cities Mission, its implementation is likely to kick off in the city. Key smart city projects are likely to be cleared for administrative sanction by the Board of Directors of Chennai Smart City Ltd. on Wednesday, said sources in the Chennai Corporation.

Wednesday’s meeting will be the fourth board meeting of Chennai Smart City Ltd. The previous three meetings did not clear any proposal. Slated to cost Rs. 85 crore, the key projects to be cleared include constructing a new multi-level car parking facility, redevelopment of eight parks, redesigning of 23 roads, and development of a pedestrian plaza.

“Other important projects such as a traffic management system and phase 2 and 3 of the Pedestrian Plaza in T.Nagar will be implemented later. A detailed project report for many of the projects will be ready soon,” said an official.

Challenges to the implementation of Smart City Mission projects include opposition from traders in T.Nagar, hurdles in revision of parking charges for the city, implementation of Metro Rail project, lack of interest among other stakeholders in the private sector to support the projects, inadequate funding for smart city proposals and resettlement of hawkers. This year Chennai is likely to spend only around Rs. 100 crore for projects under the Smart City Mission.

The multi-level car parking can accommodate 230 cars and 550 two-wheelers, but there is a hitch. The corporation can’t collect charges for motorcycles, as per an existing government order. It can collect only Rs. 5 per hour for cars. This makes operation and maintenance of the multi-level parking facility an expensive proposition. The government has to revise the parking fee, an official said, adding that this would be discussed in the board meeting. Work on redevelopment of Panagal Park has been shelved due to the Metro Rail project in the area and civic officials expect a few other proposals in the city to be hit by subsequent phases of the Metro Rail.

41 projects

Officials say that at least 41 Smart City projects are expected to be implemented at an estimated cost of Rs. 1,300 crore in the city in the years to come. But implementation of many of these projects including 24x7 supply of water in T.Nagar is likely to be a challenge as a number of unauthorised buildings dot the city’s commercial district, officials say.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 24 May 2017 10:33
 
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