Even after the state government ran an amnesty scheme for three years, more than 1 lakh flat owners in the city residing in 6,000 buildings continue to live without the mandatory occupation certificate (OC).
The result — they have to pay double the water charges because of the violations committed by the builder.
With the state government planning to start another amnesty scheme, residents and activists are sceptical as the previous one helped only 100 buildings get OCs.
According to Manoj Daisaria, former president, Practicing Engineers Architects and Town Planners Association (PEATA), the main condition of getting the consent of the builder and architect who had constructed the structure was the main hurdle.
“Most were small-time builders who didn’t care about getting the OC and also some architects were not very cooperative. This proved to be undoing of the entire scheme,” he said.
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) issues an OC only when the builder has adhered to all the rules and regulations according to the development control rules.
However, builders hand over the flats to the buyers without obtaining the certificate. Although the building is illegal, the BMC continues to supply the residents with water, but at double the cost.
Ramesh Prabhu, chairman, Maharashtra Societies Welfare Association (MSWA), explained why the earlier scheme failed.
“The residents had to comply with at least 18 conditions [to get the OC] and each had a cost attached to it,” he said.
Certificates of drainage lines from hydraulic engineers, electricity and sanitation lines from licensed holders and a host of other things resulted in addtional aexpenditure amounting to lakhs.
“In addition, the BMC also levied a penalty of 10%, which is unfair,” he added.