In a major relief to the citizens, the Punjab government has, in principle, decided to exempt small plot holders from paying any “regularisation” charges while colonisers’ penalty was drastically reduced to just half, to 2% of collector rates, instead of forcing them to pay a maximum of Rs. 15 lakh per acre.
The existing policy on regularisation of unauthorised colonies, recently came under criticism for its severe punitive measures, would be amended soon and tabled before the state cabinet for approval so as to meet citizens’ demands.
During a meeting presided over by deputy chief minister Sukhbir Badal at Chandigarh on Wednesday, it was decided to exempt 50 square yards plot holders in any locality and 100 square yard plot holders in slums from paying any charges. “Except for these two categories, the rest of the residents will be charged as per plot size and area collector rate. The rate slabs are being worked out while it will be substantially less than existing one,” sources said.
The condition of paying 25% charges along with application was also slashed to 10%. “The rest of 15% will be payable within one month from filing the application. The condition of paying 5% social infrastructure fund along with application and rest of 70% in three bi-annual installments along with 12% per annum interest will remain unchanged,” sources said, adding Sukhbir was seemingly keen to reduce charges to avoid any adverse impact alliance prospects in coming Lok Sabha elections. The Congress and the colonisers were opposing the policy from day one while the BJP, too later, joined the chorus to raise its concerns with the chief minister.
The four zones including the one covering Jalandhar, Amritsar and Ludhiana towns would be abolished. Earlier, residents of these three towns and those living within 15 kms from their MC limits were directed to pay an exorbitant amount of Rs. 12,500 per marla as penalty. Sources said the government was also considering abolishing FIR registration clause in case of the residents’ failure to apply within stipulated time period. “The last date of submission of application will also be extended,” sources quipped.
Sources said colonisers would now pay half per cent of collector rates for illegal colonies developed before August 17, 2007. Otherwise, charges would be 2% of collector rates.
Interestingly, it would be difficult for the government to identify the real colonisers engaged in developing unauthorised colonies. A majority of sale deeds were got registered directly by the farmers or the migrant labourers hired by such colonisers, who usually don’t formally sign the documents to evade any legal action. In some cases, such colonisers immigrated to other countries or had died.
Exempted from paying charges
50 sq yards plot holders in any locality
100 sq yard plot holders in slums
Rest to pay as per area collector rates, slabs being worked out
Last date being extended after August 24 deadline
10% with application form, 15% within a month
Zones of different categories of towns abolished
Colonisers to pay 0.5% for colonies developed before August 17, 2007
2% in rest of the cases
No regularisation of colonies developed after April 1, 2013