Uttarakhand eases construction norms, hikes civic bodies’ financial powers
Presided over by chief minister Trivednra Singh Rawat, the Uttarakhand cabinet also approved a one-time settlement scheme for owners of commercial buildings such as private hospitals and schools etc being run in residential areas.Updated: Jan 01, 2019 16:32 IST
With an eye on the 2019 general election, the Uttarakhand cabinet on Monday approved a slew of relaxations for construction of residential and commercial buildings besides its plan recommending vesting the municipal corporations with “unlimited” financial powers.
“We (Uttarakhand) have become the country’s first state to grant unlimited financial powers to boards of municipal corporations following approval of such a proposal,” government spokesperson and minister Madan Kaushik said while briefing reporters about the decisions taken at the cabinet meeting.
“Besides, it (cabinet) gave its nod to several proposals for relaxations relating to construction of residential and commercial buildings in the hilly, plain and foothill areas,” he said.
Kaushik said the boards of municipal corporations were now legally empowered to clear all projects irrespective of their costs.
“Similarly, a mayor can now release Rs 12 lakh at a time whereas a municipal commissioner and the executive committee can disburse Rs 10 lakh and Rs 25 lakh, respectively,” he said.
Presided over by chief minister Trivednra Singh Rawat, the cabinet also approved a one-time settlement scheme for owners of commercial buildings such as private hospitals and schools etc being run in residential areas.
“As per the one-time settlement scheme, those running commercial buildings in residential areas would be permitted to have their establishments legalised by paying compounding fee by March 31, 2019,” Kaushik said.
“Those who will fail to meet the deadline would’ve to pay more fee and would be meted out the desired punishment stipulated in the law,” he warned.
Out of the 10 proposals put up before the Cabinet for approval, it gave its nod to nine.
The council of ministers also gave its nod to a proposal for fixing the minimum support price (MSP) for purchase of sugarcane by sugar mills.
“The MSP for the progressive and traditional varieties of sugarcane has been fixed at Rs 327 per quintal and Rs 317 per quintal, respectively,” Kaushik said.
“The minimum support price fixed for both varieties is Rs 2 higher than what is being paid to sugarcane farmers in neighbouring Uttar Pradesh,” he said.
The cabinet also gave its nod to the amendment in police rules proposing salary hikes of policemen who were “directly appointed or promoted” post 2006.
“Some 1.5 lakh policemen would now draw salaries at par with their counterparts following the salary hike which would cost the exchequer Rs 2.5 crore,” Kaushik said.
He said the people in the hills, plains and foothill areas would be hugely benefited by relaxations in construction of residential and commercial buildings.
“These relaxations have been granted following the cabinet nod to a proposal for amendment in housing construction and development by-laws,” he said, adding all related relaxations would also be applicable to the foothill areas.
“It is a category, which was included following recent amendments introduced in the housing construction and development by-laws,” he said referring to the foothill areas.
Giving details, he said the relaxations introduced in the amended rules would be applicable for construction of residential group housing, affordable housing, housing for the Economically Weaker Sections, commercial units and single commercial offices. Construction of multiplexes with single screens, malls with multiplexes, service apartments, wedding points, hotels, motels, guest houses run by individuals, hostels and hospitals etc. had also been brought under the purview of the amended rules.
Construction of affordable housing, for instance, Kaushik said would now be permitted in a 2,000 square metre area instead of the earlier provision of 4,000 square metre area.
Similarly, new rules specify that minimum 1,000 square metre area would be needed for granting permission for construction of housing complexes for the EWS category. “Such projects were hampered owing to the ambiguity in rules relating to the land required for the purpose,” the minister said.
First Published: Jan 01, 2019 16:29 IST