Amnesty For Unauthorised Constructions: Odisha Warns Stern Action Post Feb 5 Deadline

Bhubaneswar: With the deadline of Odisha government’s ‘Sarva Khyama Yojana’ (Amnesty Scheme) to regularize unauthorized constructions ending on February 5, the Urban Development department has warned of stern action against unauthorized buildings and establishments in and around the cities.

Though the ambitious Amnesty Scheme was announced in June 2018, the State government extended the deadline twice. Moreover, when it failed to garner required response, the government made several changes and relaxed setback provisions, parking and compounding charges for both high-rises and normal buildings in residential and non-residential areas.

While the Bhubaneswar Development Authority (BDA) has reportedly received 4,000 applications under the Amnesty scheme, the number of applications received by other development authorities including Cuttack is disappointing.

Urban Development Minister, Pratap Jena said that the government has already given enough time. “Even now, there is enough time for people to make corrections and apply for it,” said Jena.

After February 5, BDA will reportedly conduct a review of the unauthorized buildings and subsequently take action in phases: “We will first take action against business establishments and apartments and then, private buildings,” said BDA’s planning member, Gourishankar Bhuyan.

However, it is said that there are so many unauthorized constructions in urban areas that it may not be feasible for the development authorities to demolish all such constructions. Besides, demands to extend the deadline and further relax the penalties have been pouring in.

“The number of violations is so huge that it’s difficult for the government to take action against all construction- it’s just next to impossible. If the penalty is reduced, I think more such establishments can be regularised and people will be benefitted,” said Tapan Mohanty, a realtor.