Tamil Nadu housing and urban development department has notified rules.Termed as the Tamil Nadu Town and Country Planning (Removal of unauthorised development) Rules, it prescribes a set of rules that all enforcement authorities, across the state, should follow while acting against an illegal construction under section 56,57 and 80 A of the Tamil Nadu Town and Country Planning Act.
“This is the first time we have notified rules for this purpose. In the absence of any common guidelines, all local bodies, local planning authorities, Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority and Greater Chennai Corporation, were following different procedures while dealing with unauthorised constructions. This will bring uniform procedure in the state,” said Hitesh Kumar S Makwana, secretary, housing and urban development department.
The rules state that if the authority comes to know about an unauthorised construction, a notice should be issued seeking documents related to the property. Subsequently, the authority can inspect the building after giving prior notice. However, if the situation warrants, a surprise inspection can also be conducted and a report should be prepared.
I’f a deviation or ongoing unauthorised development is noticed, the authority should notify the occupant to restore the building according to the original plan or discontinue the work, failing which the officer can demolish the unauthorised construction.
If the occupant/owner turns a blind eye to the warning, the planning authority shall issue a lock and seal order. In case of an ongoing unauthorised development, if the planning authority deems fit, he can lock and seal the premises till the production of the required planning permission, without issuing a notice. The same should be informed to the jurisdictional police. “This is a good move as all authorities will have to follow the procedures properly and cannot misuse the Act. But officials in the local bodies should be educated about the rules,” said S Ramaprabhu, committee chairman (municipal and DTCP), Builders Association of India.