Less than a month after granting the third extension in 20 years to regularize unauthorized residential constructions in return for an impact fee, the Gujarat Government has now introduced a scheme for the first time to similarly legalize such constructions in industrial estates in the State.
Conceding that a large number of unauthorized constructions have come up due to rapid industrialization, State Industries Minister Balvantsinh Rajput made this announcement on Thursday but clarified that the scheme would be in effect only for four months. He said the government had to take this decision since it was not feasible to pull these constructions down.
There are 220 industrial estates in Gujarat with more than 70,000 units. There are a large number of unauthorized structures and the government has decided to regularize them, according to the minister.
Giving details, he said in case of construction on a common plot construction up to 50% will be regularized. Plots, where a change of use has been made, would not be regularized. For lack of parking space, a 15% penalty of allocation amount would be charged for residential units and 30 percent for other than residential buildings. This would be double in the case of industrial estates.
However, Rajput clarified that this scheme would not apply to hazardous/obnoxious industries.
This decision once again flies in the face of a spate of petitions pending with the Gujarat High Court over illegal constructions without the building use permissions. Despite that, the BJP-controlled State Assembly in a single-day session last month passed a bill to regularize unauthorized residential and commercial constructions. Under the Gujarat Regularisation of Unauthorised Development Ordinance, 2022 illegal constructions would be regularised by charging impact fees.
This is for the third time that the BJP government has brought an ordinance to regularise illegal constructions. The same policy has been applied to industrial constructions.
The latest one was introduced just ahead of the announcement of Assembly polls. In Ahmedabad only, 1200 applications have been received while the authorities expect more than one lakh applications. The government has decided on the retrospective effect of the implementation of the new legislation on October 1, 2022, which implies that nearly all the unauthorised structures would be regularized.
The bill was passed unanimously in the Assembly during its one-day session in December.