Govt to extend cutoff date of Sakrama scheme

Govt to extend cutoff date of Sakrama scheme

The State government is planning to extend the cutoff date for regularisation of illegal constructions under the “Sakrama” scheme in urban areas. The present cutoff date is December 3, 2009. 

First introduced in 2007 by the erstwhile coalition government of the Janata Dal (Secular) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) headed by H D Kumaraswamy, the scheme met with opposition from the public because of high penalty. Initially, property owners were given only three months, September 15 to December 14, 2007, to regularise unauthorised constructions.

The Karnataka High Court had directed the government to maintain the status quo on implementation of the scheme. Ruling that it was bad in law, the court said the time provided was inadequate and the penalty high. But the court allowed the government to frame rules under the legislation.

The BJP government slashed the penalty by 50 per cent and extended the cutoff till December 3, 2009, ahead of the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike elections. But the scheme could not be implemented as Governor H R Bhardwaj did not give his assent until August 2013.

Sources said the government may extend the date to bring buildings constructed in the last four years under the ambit of the scheme. It recently notified a piece of legislation for implementing the scheme, which envisages regularisation of building deviations, especially violation of bye-laws, in urban areas.

The government has also directed Advocate-General Ravivarma Kumar to take  steps to clear legal hurdles for implementing the scheme at the earliest, preferably before announcement of the election dates.

Because of the status quo, the scheme cannot be implemented unless the court gives its nod.Apart from political benefits, the scheme, if implemented, will fetch the government a handsome revenue. The State is estimated to have 10 lakh beneficiaries.

Sources said the government is examining whether there is any need for a screening committee to look into the draft rules. “We are examining the draft rules framed in 2009. If the rules require substantial changes, recommendations will be made to the government to set up a committee,” said P N Sreenivasachary, Principal Secretary to the Urban Development Department.

According to the existing rules, up to 25 per cent violation in residential buildings will incur a penalty of 6 per cent of the total guidance value of the property (either land or built-up area). A penalty of 8 per cent of the total property value was stipulated for violations between 25 and 50 per cent. For non-residential buildings, regularisation charges will be 20 per cent of the guidance value for less than 12.5 per cent violation. For violations up to 25 per cent, the penalty is 35 per cent of the guidance value.

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