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tÉlÉcharger akrama sakrama bill pdf

A proposal for a revised Akrama Sakrama
By Rajeev Chandrasekhar, Member of Parliament
Akrama Sakrama must have as its objective that – “Law breaking is the exception and not
the general rule and not the other way around”
It is not the first time that such a legislation has been attempted – to legalize the many
illegal constructions that have sprung up around Bangalore over the last several years
and it’s not the first time that a large number of people have joined the debate on this –
either opposing it or supporting it. Even the very highly respected former Lok Ayukta
Justice Santosh Hegde has joined the debate and opposed it.
Akrama Sakrama is proposed as a program to legalize – the many illegal constructions
that have come up in and around Bangalore – with the ostensible objective of helping the
poor householders who have built some/most of these illegal homes.
However, there is a misconception and a deliberate misleading view that all such illegal
constructions pertain to the Urban Poor and lower Income class residents. There are many
illegal constructions by crooked real-estate developers, crooked Middle and high income
home owners in Bangalore city and in the outskirts that will also be direct beneficiaries of
Akrama Sakrama. There’s clearly no justification at all for this group that includes
crooked real-estate developers and other violators (apart from the very poor) to be
benefited at all, at the cost of the good law abiding citizens and residents of the city.
Currently there are following types of violators in our City
1. Those that build on land that doesn’t belong to them E.g. Government /City land.
(Encroachments)
2. Those that build in zones that are not designated for development in the CDP/RMP
and therefore do not have any building plan approval. (Illegal layouts etc)
3. Those that build on their owned land , without any building plan approval
4. Those that build on their owned land, in excess/violation of their approved
building plan
Moral risks/hazards of condoning illegalities and violation
No modern city can grow without adequate and strong zoning regulations and strong
oversight of these zoning and building planning. Otherwise, there will be chaos. Also no
government or city can or should send a message that it’s better to be law breakers and
law abiding citizens.
It cannot be the case of anyone (and if it is then it’s untenable and indefensible) that all
violators have to be allowed to go scot free / allow going scot free by paying a fee.
It also cannot be the case that regularizing such violations is a way to generate revenue
for the city. That is a dangerous argument –because it’s like saying legalizes smuggling
and criminals because by taxing them, governments can make money.
Modern cities and civilized society are built on living by rules and off course helping the
poor and destitute with deliberate and directed assistance. So there is a clear need to
make sure any legislation or program such as this has a clear and narrowly defined
objective of ensuring that the poor get their homes and rich and others don’t get away
scot free. Therefore if an Akrama Sakrama is to be proposed – it has to clearly focus only
on the poor and strong qualification criterion that ensures that beneficiaries are only the
poor and deserving.
How to REALLY help the Poor
The argument being made by some is that regardless of the nature of the violations, it’s
important to help the poor get some homes. The fact is this argument has some merit
because the state and city has done very little to create habitation and housing capacity
for the poor in the last many years and the poor have had to resort to creating housing
for themselves - which in many instances tend to be illegal in one of the four categories
above.
Therefore the criterion that will ensure that only the poor will benefit from this
(a) The housing/dwelling in question should be 350 sft or smaller.
(b) The family must be living in that for some period (i.e. it didn’t come up in the last
few weeks or years) – Evidence of living there like Water and Electricity bills for
last 4 years etc.
(c) These must be on owned land and must be either violation 3 or violation 4 from
above.
For all violations 1 and 2 for all types of residents, there cannot be any condoning. But
the poor that have created habitations (350 sft or less) under violations 1 and 2, should
be supported by a longer term solution - of being provided a Government backed
Housing credit program, entitling them to credit/loan towards purchase of a home by a
private developer or a government layout. They should be given a period of 18 months to
relocate. This will cost the government and taxpayers – but that’s the cost of many years
of negligence to the problem of housing for Urban Poor that we have to pay.
Other Aspects that must be included in Akrama Sakrama
(a) A Comprehensive Zoning and Development plan and a strong enforcement
framework for the future.
Akrama Sakrama must include as an integral part,
a. A comprehensive zoning and land use plan.
b. A complete published inventory of Government land in Bangalore that will
be protected against encroachment.
c. A comprehensive section/law on enforcement from the Cutoff date. The
enforcement section must create punitive penalties for all those who build in
violation of rules. Inspectors must be given enforcement and demolition
powers that are strong in law. The penalties must apply to violators and at
the same time the Cities Government officials who are responsible for
enforcement of zoning and building rules/regulations.
(b) Continuous Home building for Poor In addition this revised Akrama Sakrama must have a program of home building
for the Poor through home credit for poor and directly building layouts that
addresses the increasing need for habitation capacities in our city.
This revised legislation would address the issues of housing for Poor (past and
future), ensure a strong compliance regime for the future and also ensure that
crooked developers and home owners don’t wrongly benefit at the cost of all law
abiding residents of our city.