Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Would you take a chance with an unauthorised construction?

Has the project you have bought into received all the clearances from the respective authorities? If you have failed to check for these, chances are you may be in for some trouble. Take for example, Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) has declared that it would go in for the demolition of all those illegal constructions that cannot be regularized.

As per sources, Rajeev Jadhav, municipal commissioner said, “These constructions have been built on plots reserved for civic amenities in the development plan, or in the riverbed and on land needed for roads. Notices have already been issued to them, The Pimpri Chinchwad New Township Development Authority and the Maharashtra Industries Development Corporation will conduct separate demolition drives in their areas.”

As of 1st April 2015, the authority is reported to have razed 21 such buildings. Encroachments along flood lines, green zones were also taken into notice. Some of the locations were Walhekarwadi, Thergaon, Rupeenagar, Sambhajinagar and Charholi. Late last year, the collapse of a newly built six storey building in Pune’s Narhe-Ambegaon area was a grisly reminder of the Thane mishap of 2013 pointing at how some developers may be actually flouting building codes and safety standards.

However, there may be a loophole. “The outskirts of Pune, especially houses constructed on the hills have a large number of homes built illegally. The additional trouble is that these areas do not fall under PMC’s jurisdiction. A flurry of projects has come up in these areas where developers are pitching their homes with discounts or lower capital values,” says Akhil Kanth of Poona Realty. Karjat, Ambegaon area and such locations have registered a sizeable number of such homes that have breached rules, say trend watchers.

What you must remember as a home buyer is to make safer choices for yourself. Not only do unauthorized constructions pose to be unsafe or bar you from demanding basic amenities, as a matter of fact the civic body may collect double the amount for property tax as penalty. This applies to every such building constructed post January 2008.

At a time when we are talking about Smart Cities and Housing for All by 2022, have we got any smarter with the way housing in India is being addressed? Does Housing for All provide home buyers with the basic right of possessing a house with basic amenities? Would the mission address issues of neo-slums? Across Indian cities, read, Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, etc., the respective authorities have been addressing such issues. Some are talking about regularization of these unauthorized colonies while some others are taking to razing such structures if these cannot be regularized.

Take for example the high court drawing our attention to the fact that only 825 of the reported 66,000 illegal constructions being brought down. The judiciary asserted that it was necessary to send a strong signal to builder’s flouting rules and hence strict measures were to be taken.

The end point remains. While developers would have made money by selling such properties, it is finally the end-users or buyers who have to bear the brunt of this menace. Would you take that chance?

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