New law to make illegal building owners pay hefty fine: G Parameshwar

Bengaluru: If all goes well, the state government and BBMP can effectively put an end to the unauthorised construction across the city.

The state government is contemplating bringing an amendment to the Karnataka Municipal Corporation (1976) Act to punish those building structures with violations and the officials who support them. The act will also deal with those who file cases in the court, said Bengaluru Development Minister G. Parameshwar on Friday.

Participating at an event to release buildings the Rajajinagar commercial complex and an abattoir that were pledged to the financial institution HUDCO, Dr Parameshwar said that building violations have become a serious concern as buildings have been collapsing like a pack of cards. “Building structures in contravention of sanctioned plans leads to such accidents, which cost lives and property. It also inconveniences the public and BBMP. The amendment aims to impose hefty fines and also include a clause to prevent such violators from approaching courts to seek a stay. The new clause will make it mandatory for those who want to approach the courts to pay a deposit of 50 per cent of the building value to the court to register a case,” he explained. 

No tax revision 
Dr Parameshwar said that though the property tax can be revised once in three years, there is no such proposal to do it this time.  “There is a steep increase in property tax collection for 2018-19. The BBMP has collected Rs 2,031 crore as against the target of Rs 3,000 crore. The Congress-JD(S) coalition administration in the BBMP has repaid majority of the loans and have released the pledged properties,” he said.
Loans
Five more buildings will be released by repaying a loan of Rs 652 crore, he said. The Rajajinagar complex and the abattoir were pledged for Rs 169 crore. The BBMP repaid Rs 211 crore along with interest to get the properties released from HUDCO.  On the controversy over naming a road at Jakkur ward after Mysore ruler Tipu Sultan, he said that it will be discussed at the BBMP Council. 
Indira Canteens
Indira Canteens, which have been lauded for providing affordable food to the urban poor across all the 198 wards, are likely to serve coffee and tea soon, said BBMP Commissioner N. Manjunath Prasad. Consumers after having a meal for Rs 5 had to go to other hotels to have coffee and tea. Talking on the sidelines of the event, Mr Prasad said that the BBMP has proposed to provide coffee or tea along with light snacks for Rs 5. 
Marshals on prowl
Mr Prasad said that 233 retired military personnel will be appointed as marshals to prevent unauthorised dumping of debris across the city. They will work from 8 pm to 1 am. Those caught dumping debris for the first time will be penalised with Rs 1,000 and subsequent violations will attract penalties of up to Rs 5,000, he said. 
Defence land under tax net
As per the Supreme Court and Union government orders, defence and railway properties falling under BBMP limits will have to pay tax to the BBMP. These properties have to pay service charges to the BBMP, failing which action will be initiated, he said.

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