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Grant of colonisation licences: Haryana govt likely to do away with ‘first come first serve’ policy

The policy change, which will be deliberated before the council of ministers on Wednesday, intends to do away with the policy of ‘first come first serve’ for the grant of licences.

india Updated: Sep 13, 2017 16:01 IST
Hitender Rao
Hitender Rao
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
Grant of colonisation licences,Haryana govt,first come first serve
The existing policy has been criticised for being less than transparent.(Representative image )

Contemplating a major policy shift in granting commercial and group housing licences, the Manohar Lal Khattar government in Haryana proposes to grant colonisation licences through a bidding process.

The policy change, which will be deliberated before the council of ministers on Wednesday, intends to do away with the policy of ‘first come first serve’ for the grant of licences. The existing policy has been criticised for being less than transparent.

THE SHIFT

It is learnt that 20% net planned area available for group housing in residential sectors and 3.5% area available for commercial colonies in residential sectors will be worked out after the notification of the final development plan of the controlled areas declared around a town.

This will be hosted on the web portal of town and country planning department. The colonisers will be able to apply for grant of licence on the website during stipulated time-frame.

The department will examine the applications for eligibility and subsequently host the list of eligible applications on the website. Applicants will be asked to quote bids over and above the applicable fee and charges for getting a colonisation licence on per acreage basis. The ones quoting the highest rate will have the first right to get the allocation of license of net planned area, as per the broad contours of the proposed policy.

PREVALENT PRACTICE

Till now the town and country planning department considered applications for the grant of group housing and commercial colony licences on the basis of ‘first come first serve’ basis. Since the net planned area available for the group housing and commercial colonies was limited, the applications were examined on the ‘first come first serve’ basis, officials said.

However, the Punjab and Haryana high court in a 2015 order had cancelled some colonisation licences and adversely commented on the ‘first come first serve’ policy for the grant of licenses.

A HC bench comprising justices Hemant Gupta and Shekhar Dhawan said in its order that grant of licences on the basis of doctrine of ‘first come first serve’ was not fair, reasonable and transparent method.

It is wholly immaterial that the licence is sought in respect of the land owned by an individual. “The fact is that without licence, the group housing cannot be set up. The licence is a pre-requisite condition to develop a colony, which is a privilege granted by the state and is a largesse. In the absence of a licensc, a land owner continues to be the owner of the land. There is no compulsion for him to change the land use or set up a colony, but once it is proposed to set up a colony, then the statutory conditions, pre-requisites for grant of licence are to be satisfied, the high court said.

The HC asked the state government to frame a transparent and fair policy. Sources said the pending applications for grant of group housing and commercial colonies can be returned in view of the formulation of the new policy guidelines

First Published: Sep 13, 2017 16:01 IST