Few Takers For Amnesty Scheme; Odisha Govt Relaxes Norms

Bhubaneswar: The ambitious scheme of Sarva Khyama (Amnesty Scheme) launched by Odisha government to regularize unauthoritised constructions has failed generate positive response. This has now forced the State government to reintroduce the 2018 amnesty scheme by making several changes.

As per a notification issued by the Housing and Urban Development department, setbacks provisions, parking and compounding charges both for high rise and non-high rise buildings in residential and non-residential areas have been relaxed.

The setback area for high rise buildings and apartments which was earlier fixed at 6 metres has now been reduced to 3 metres. The parking deficit charges per square metre will now be Rs 10,000 for residential and non-residential areas in municipal corporations.

The compounding fee per square metre of built-up area which was earlier fixed between Rs 250 and Rs 1,000 has been revised. The new compounding fee under the regularisation scheme 2019 is Rs 250 for residential and Rs 500 for non-residential areas.

“Three major aspects have been modified. Revenue generation is now our objective, we want to increase the number of applications,” said Guarishankar Bhuiyan, planning member of housing and urban development department.

It is pertinent to mention here that Bhubaneswar Development Authority (BDA) had first invited applications for regularising unauthorised constructions under its jurisdiction in 2007-08. Later, Odisha government had launched the Amnesty Scheme on June 20, 2018 and the scheme was applicable for owners in nine development authorities of the state including under BDA.

Official sources said the government had received 1335 in 2018 and 1137 applications for regularising unauthorised constructions in 2019. Though the period to seek benefits under the scheme was extended for several times in the past, it has failed to generate positive response owing to hefty compounding fines under the scheme.

“The government should have taken into confidence all stakeholders including various citizen forums so that the scheme would have been successful,” said Pradip Kumar Biseswarray, former president of real estate developers’ association.

Now as the fine has been reduced considerably, the State government is hoping that more and more people will apply for regularising their unauthorised constructions which will ultimately lead to generate more revenue.