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Tamilnadu Government Frames Rules for Regularising Unapproved Layouts and Plots[ditty_news_ticker id=”3299″]
The Madras High Court on 21 Oct 2016, while imposing the Ban on Registration of Unapproved Layouts and Plots, wanted the Government to frame Rules and Procedures for Regularising the same.
Now, the State Government has notified the Regularisation of Unapproved Plots and Layouts Rules, 2017, on 4th May 2017. The Rules were submitted to the Court on 5th May.
The Court heard arguments on the matter on 12th May 2017, and have since passed the Orders, permitting the Registration of Unapproved Plots, after Regularising them strictly under this Notified Rules.
Salient Features of the Scheme
By these Rules, the Government exempts all unapproved layouts, where any or all plots are sold and registered on or before October 20, 2016, and all unapproved plots which are sold and registered on or before October 20, 2016 from the operation of all the provisions of the Tamil Nadu Town and Country Planning act.This means, even if one plot in such a layout has been sold, the entire layout becomes eligible for Regularisation.
Plot Owners Should Compulsory Apply for Regularisation
According to the Rules, “it shall be compulsory for all the individual plot owners and layout promoters eligible to file an application on-line in Form-I for regularisation to the Competent Authority concerned within six months from the date of commencement of these rules along with the fees and charges as per the self assessment made and annexed with the application. The Competent Authority shall process the application and pass orders of regularization on-line.”
Competent Authority means,(i) for regularisation of unapproved individual plot in a sub-division or layout-the Head of the Local Body, like Commissioner, Executive Officer or BDO,
(ii) for regularization of layout in Chennai, theMember Secretary of CMDA, and in any other areas, the Member-Secretary of the respective Planning Authority
Consequences of Non-Approval
Hereafter, an Unapproved Plot couldn’t be registered.
Also, no electricity, water supply, drainage and sewerage connections shall be extended to such unapproved plot or layout, according to the Rules.
The Rules further say that no Building Plan approval shall be given by the authorities for Unapproved Plots.
Within 15 days from the date of notification of these Rules, the Member Secretary concerned shall call upon the Local Bodies, to give a certified list of unapproved layouts formed within its jurisdiction along with the details of name of the revenue village, survey numbers or ward numbers, town survey numbers, name of the local body, as the case may be covered by the layout and its extent
The Promoter, or Association or Society also can Apply for Regularisation.
Upon receipt of the list of unapproved layouts, the Competent Authority shall suo-motu prepare and approve and give in-principle approval for the layout framework as existing on ground by employing the services of licensed surveyors for those layouts which are covered in the list furnished by the Local Bodies but not applied for regularization by any of the layout Promoter/Registered Co-operative Society/Association of plot owners.
The application for individual plot regularisation in a layout shall be considered for regularisation only after in- principle approval of the layout framework is issued by the competent authority. Such regularisation of unapproved layout framework will not automatically regularise the individual plot in the layout. The individual plot owner / promoter (in the case of unsold plots) shall, after regularization of unapproved layout framework, apply for regularization of his plot/plots separately
The Regularisation charges are – (i) Rs 100 per Square Meter in City Municipal Corporation area, (ii) 60 in Municipal area and (iii) Rs 30 in areas covered under Town Panchayats and Village Panchayats areas.
Development charges shall be collected for the plot or layout to be regularised (a) Rs 600 per sq Meter in City Municipal Area, (b) Rs 350 in Special and Selection Grade Municipal area, (c) Rs 250 in Grade-I and Grade-II Municipal Area, (d) Rs 150 in Town Panchayat and Rs 100 in Village Panchayat area.
Charges for Open Space Reservation (OSR) Area
For regularisation of plot in a sub-division, the OSR area requirement as per the development regulations or development control regulations, as the case may be, shall be calculated and charged proportionately to the plot area applied for regularisation.
For regularisation of layout, OSR area charge shall be collected for 10 percent of the layout area as per the Guideline Value, if 10 percent of OSR is not available. However, if part of the required 10 percent OSR area is available in the layout, then such available area shall be deducted in the calculation of OSR area requirement and charges levied accordingly. In the event of OSR being partly available, the charges will be proportionately collected.
Guideline Value for the Purpose of Calculating OSR Area Charges
For Plots sold upto 31st March,2012, the Guideline value prevailing on 1at August, 2007, shall be taken into account.
Plots on public water bodies, Poramboke areas, OSR Land area, plots that block access to surrounding lands, plots that are on any Rail or Road corridor, Plots that encroach on public road or street… are not eligible for regularisation.
The Applications shall be in conformity with i)The Civil Aviation Regulations ii)The Ministry of Defence Regulations iii) The Coastal Zone Regulations iv) Hill Stations Building Rules v) The Regulations in respect of Aquifer Recharge Area vi) The Regulations in respect of Red Hills Catchment Area vii) and The Provisions of the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act and the Tamil Nadu Ancient and Historical Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act.
Some Observations by the Court
In the Judgment, The Madras High Court made the following observations.
i)The Court observed in the Order, that the Rules prima facie
“is in excess of the rule making powers conferred under Section 122 of the TCP Act insofar as the same purports to exempt unapproved plots and unapproved layouts sold and registered on or before 20.10.2016 from the operation of all the provisions of the TCP Act”
The Court further said that
“All registrations pursuant to this interim order shall be subject to and abide by the result of the writ petitions and shall remain in force until further orders.”
Though the Court prima facie felt the Rules were in excess of the Rule making power of the Government, it allowed the Rules to be in force in view of the delay already experienced by the public(though the Court by any count couldn’t be blamed for it), and also the hardships that may be faced by small plot holders if the matter is further delayed. The Order justifies this step in the following words:”We are informed that there are many petty plot holders in desperate need of funds for purposes such as education of children, marriage of children and the like.”
ii)Moreover, the possibility of the Petitioner going on Appeal against the final Judgment also may not be ruled out.
Therefore, it appears, the final word is yet to be said in this matter
The next hearing is on 14.06.2017.
Tamilnadu Govertment has since launched a Website, www.tnlayoutregn.in, for the sole purpose of Regualarising Unapproved Plots and Layouts. According to this website, the last date for submission of Application for the Regularisation is Nov 3, 2017, ie when the 6 months period provided for in the Rules ends.
Applicants have to Register in this Portal and create a User id and Password, and then Apply online for Regularisation. Separate Applications are available for Plots located in CMDA areas and DTCP areas.
The Approval is in Two Stages
First, the Member Secretary or the Planning Authority of the respective Local Body shall give in-principle sanction for the Layouts. The process of collecting information about the Unapproved Layouts through out Tamilnadu has begun.
According to the Times of India:
“In a bid to create a database of unapproved plots before regularising them, the government has embarked on a massive exercise to identify such sites.The department of housing and urban development has directed all urban and rural local bodies to complete the exercise by May 27.
This will not only help in identifying the number of unapproved plots, but also locate encroachments on poramboke land and water bodies. “It will come in handy to identify whether adequate land is available in the layout, which can be used for Open Space Reservation (OSR) and developing public facilities including roads,” an official told TOI.”
Once the Data is collected, the in-principle Approval will be given, and the process of Approving Individual Plots will begin.
In this Second Stage, Applicants will have to Apply on-line, and also pay on-line a Scrutiny Fee of Rs.500/. (For this, the Applicant should have an email id and mobile phone.) This will generate a Registration Slip. Applicants will have to submit the Registration Slip along with the Copies of Documents, Layout Copy etc to the Corporation, or other Local Bodies.The Local Body shall give approval after collecting other Charges like, Regularisation charges, Development Charges, and OSR charges.
Many Points Need Clarifications
The Rules, as they are published, have scope for multiple interpretations and confusions. Some of the potential points for confusion are given below:
a)The Rules make it mandatory for all Unapproved Layouts/Plots to apply for Regularisation failing which many penal provisions like no water/electricity/sewerage connections will be given. Does it mean all those unapproved housing plots, where houses already built and exist for long, also need to Apply for Regularisation?
b)In Layouts sold decades ago, where the Promoter or Association doesn’t exist, who will give all the necessary documents and undertake to rectify the deficiencies as required under these Rules?
c)The Rules talk about Regularisation of Residential Plots only. There are many sub-divided plots abutting broad roads, where Commercial Activity will be going on for decades. How to regularise these Plots?
d)According to the Rules, the Guideline Values as on 1st Aug 2007, are to be the basis for calculating OSR charges for Plots Registered before Aug 2007. There are many unapproved layouts which were formed in sixties and Seventies. Will it be reasonable to expect the Owners who bought Plots decades ago to pay for OSR charges at 2007 rates?
Trust the authorities will in due course address these issues and provide necessary clarifications.
The next hearing is on 14th June.