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Akrama-Sakrama: Govt regularises buffer zone houses as real culprits go unpunished

  • With eye on votes and elections, the government wants to regularise homes built on the buffer zone away from the city under the akrama-sakrama policy.
  • This may bring relief to many, but activists want the lake, forest and culverts to be protected and poor homebuyers compensated for the inconvenience.
  • The government has not even mentioned about action against revenue officials and builders who converted the buffer zones into sites.
Akrama Sakrama Govt regularises buffer zone houses as real culprits go unpunished
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With eye on votes in coming elections, the government has taken up the decision to regularise homes measuring 30x40 sq.ft under Akrama Sakrama policy in all 213 Urban Local Bodies. The decision was announced by T.B Jayachandra, Karnataka Law Minister on Wednesday saying the poor people’s rights will be preserved as the government will give a relaxation to homes built in Urban Local Bodies where the population is over 50,000 and the built-up area falls under the buffer zone, away from the City.

Under the scheme, physically challenged, retired defence personnel, SC and STs will have to pay Rs 5,000 to revenue department to regularise their homes and for general category, one has to pay Rs 10,000 for the same. 

There are citizens who are fighting against the policy in Bengaluru and have expressed concern over the proposal and said innocent people should be spared but the real culprits should be brought under the rulebook. Earlier, they had protested against the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike plan to do the same for zonal regulation and building violation. Akrama-Sakrama, was earlier restricted to houses built on sites up to 20x30 sq ft.

The Karnataka government decided to promulgate an ordinance to regularise bylaw deviations in residential and commercial buildings in urban areas of the state by collecting penalty in 2013. Governor H R Bhardwaj had given the green signal to the "Akrama Sakrama" Bill which allowed property owners to regularise their building bylaw deviations, specifically those related to setback and floor area ratio, but this applied to buildings constructed before December three, 2009. 

On Wednesday the decision to regularise was taken. "We are not against such regularisation but we want the culverts, lakes, and forest land to be protected. Wherever it is possible to save the poor homebuyers, the government should intervene. At the same time, the government must explain their stand on officials who were responsible for this mess. The government should also book builders who sold sites and apartments to innocent buyers," said NS Mukunda, Founder President, Citizen Action Forum (CAF).

He also mentioned earlier when the BBMP was trying to regularise illegal structures the CAF had petitioned before the Supreme Court against this move in 2008 as there were severe zonal regulation violations and recently the SC had even given a stay on BBMP's move to make Akrama-Sakrama.

 
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