Friday, May 11, 2018

Farmers to lose 40% of land in non-town planning areas under Gujarat's common construction rules: Note

By Our Representative
The Gujarat government’s recent move to put into force Common Gujarat Development Control Regulation (GDCR) is all set to go controversial. If till now each city or urban area in the state had its own GDCR, the view has gone strong that, while normally anyone would welcome planned approach to development in the state, the state’s policy makers have chosen ad-hocism while coming up with Common GDCR.
Well-known civil rights activist Krishakant of the top environmental group Paryavaran Suraksha Samiti, Vadodara, who has circulated a note containing the type of objections that should be raised to Common GDCR, has said, already there are “a plethora of amendments being effected” to it, underlining, “This suggests that the government’s interest is not in the planning of spaces but the real estate value and advantage to their near ones.”
Pointing out that the Gujarat government “needs to be challenged on the way they are handling the urban spaces”, as the new Common GDCR intends to “interfere in rural areas too in a manner that can lead to chaotic development”, the note he has circulated wants objections to the Common GDCR should be sent the Principal Secretary, Urban Development Department, Government of Gujarat by May 25, 2018, as demanded by the government.
The note particularly raises objections to the Rule No 8.9.6 on Page 129, which talks of “contribution of land for any development in non-town-planning (TP) areas”.
Here, it says, there is a provision that “the competent authority shall enforce owners/applicants for any development in conformation with zoning or use, where the TP scheme is not declared except agriculture zone use and gamtal (village common land), competent authority … category shall enforce owners/applicant to contribute the land admeasuring up to 40% of land in … for providing roads, public purpose and multipurpose activities”.
The note says, “These Common GDCR rules are following Gujarat Town Planning and Urban Development Act 1976. In this original Act there is no provision of contribution of land by the owners/applicant of land in non-TP areas. Yet, after 42 Years of the Act how this contribution of 40% land provision is made in published Common GDCR?”
The note alleges, “The provision shall result in a big monetary loss, because no compensation would be paid to the original farmers who possess the land near to urban areas and such provision shall be not in accordance with the natural principles of justice.”
It adds, “By incorporating such provision, the government has avoided the procedure of acquisition of land and avoided payment of compensation to the farmers. This is an absolute case of violation of Articles 226 and 227 of the Constitution of India.”
The note further says, in cases where there is new tenure land, and the farmer has already paid premium to the government for change of use of land, he or she would have part with 40% of such land as contribution, “which will result in a big monitory loss to farmers.”
According to the note, “When a farmer applies for non-agricultural (NA) permission, he or she has to pay a big amount as conversion tax and other charges as scrutiny fee and development charges for taking permission from the authority.” Even here the authority would “enforce the famer to contribute 40% of such land … for the public purpose.”
“Moreover”, the note asserts, “This 40% land would be taken from each Serial No as and when required. It means, the land taken will be in fragments and will not serve the purpose of providing public amenity in a proper way.”
“So such contributed land shall not serve the very purpose for providing roads and public purpose and multipurpose activities, mentioned in this rule”, the note says, adding, “Even rule No 8.9.6 (2), (3) and (4) are absolutely hypothetical and such planning shall not be possible.”
“Thus, this provision is against the natural principle of justice, bad in law and hence should be removed from the Common GDCR”, it says.

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