In interim order, high court restrains UP’s compounding schemeUpdated: Oct 16, 2020, 23:33 IST
The Allahabad high court has stayed the Uttar Pradesh government’s “self-assessment compounding scheme - 2020”, till further orders. The scheme allowed for the regularisation of certain “illegal” construction on residential and commercial plots against a payment.
The court’s interim order dated October 7 has directed state officials to file personal affidavits justifying the scheme. The next hearing is scheduled for October 20.
“As substantial damage to the aim and objectives of planned development is likely to occur if the compounding scheme, 2020 is given effect to, therefore, the state government as also all the development authorities within the state of Uttar Pradesh are restrained from compounding any illegal constructions pursuant to the compounding scheme – 2020, notified by the state government on July 15, 2020,” the interim order read.
The directions came after petitioner Mohd. Meherban Ansari from Saharanpur contended that a sealing order was passed against his premises and he wished to benefit from the scheme. It is also said that several “impermissible developments (construction)” under the building by-laws have been made compoundable under the scheme.
The officials of the Ghaziabad development authority said that they have also received a communication to the effect from the state officials and have stopped taking any further applications under the scheme.
“We were expecting about 1500 applications under the scheme and so far, we have received only 250. For now, the directions of the high court will be complied with. The state government will take up the issue before the court during next hearing,” said Asheesh Shivpuri, authority’s chief architect and town planner.
Applications under the scheme were invited for a period of six months up to January 21, 2021 and the disposal of applications was to be done till April 21, 2021.
At present 10% extra construction of the sanctioned floor area ratio (FAR) is compoundable under normal circumstances for group housing (plots 2000 square metres and above). Now, it has been relaxed and doubled to 20% under the scheme, said officials.
Under the new scheme, the plots below 2000 sqm are divided into two categories – plots below 300 sqm and others having 300 sqm or above but less than 2000 sqm. The scheme provided for regularisation of more of front, rear and side setback areas.
The officials said that the rates of compounding were also reduced by almost half under the new scheme.
The court observed that the authorities are expected to stop illegal construction and not encourage such illegal construction upon payment of hefty amount.
“This would clearly discourage the honest citizens who ensure compliance of the laws by obtaining prior permission as per the Act of 1973 (UP Urban Planning & Development Act), in as much as they are subjected to stricter norms provided in the building by-laws, while those who violate the law are allowed to raise much large constructions, which is not even permissible in the building by-laws,” the order, said.