Impact fee amendment Bill passed amid Opposition protest

The state Assembly Wednesday passed the Gujarat Regularisation of Unauthorised Development (Amendment) Bill 2013 amid protest by the Congress against a certain clause.

The Bill presented by Urban Development Minister Anandi Patel proposed three amendments in the Gujarat Regularisation of Unauthorised Development Act 2011.

The amendments were introduced in the wake of a lukewarm response to the scheme for regularising some 15 lakh unauthorised structures in the state by charging impact fee. Till February 19, which was the second deadline for the scheme, less than a lakh constructions had been regularised.

As per the first amendment, local bodies can collect only impact fee at the time of regularisation. Other charges, including amenities, property taxes and development fee, can be collected later in order to ease the burden on occupants.

In the second major change, now legal constructions on government pre-owned or acquired land, land owned by housing boards and local authorities, including plots given to government employees in Gandhinagar, can also be covered under this.

Congress MLAs protested against this. They said that while the Bill was brought to provide relief to the poor and middle-class in getting their houses regularised, this clause would help those who have constructed houses on government land.

The third amendment has simplified regularisation of parking lots. As per the amendment, parking lots within a 240-metre radius of buildings can be regularised by paying the fee. A special committee will take up cases only if the parking area is beyond 240 metres.

On February 19, the department had extended the scheme deadline by six months, while reducing and simplifying the fee structure.

As per the new rates, for built-up area up to 50 square metres on ground and above floors, the fee will be Rs 2,000, Rs 4,000 for built-up area between 50 and 100 sq mtr, Rs 8,000 for built-up of 100 to 200 sq mtr and Rs 12,000 for built-up area of 200 to 300 sq mtr. An additional Rs 100 per square metre will be charged for built-up area above 300 sq mtr.

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