The Karnataka high court on Thursday gave two months’ time to the state government to reconsider amendments brought to the Karnataka Country and Town Planning Act, with regard to regularisation of unauthorised structures, proposed under the Akrama Sakrama scheme.
The division bench comprising Chief Justice JS Khehar and Justice AS Bopanna, adjourning a batch of public interest litigations challenging the Akrama Sakrama scheme, said, “You cannot destroy cities or state structures.”
The petitioners challenged the proposal to regularise up to 50% violation of building bye-laws in residential structures, and up to 25% violation in respect of commercial buildings, on payment of penal fees. They have contended that this would lead to haphazard growth, further choking already congested cities.
The division bench said, “Whatever you intend to implement in the city has to be reasonable and practical. The policy is yours. Take time, apply your mind. Re-examine and reconsider the whole scheme, if necessary. The interim order passed on December 11, 2007 has given you that liberty.”
The government counsel submitted that amendments to the Country and Town Planning Act were incorporated in 2009, and later passed in the state legislature. However, governor HR Bhardwaj has not yet given his assent to the amendment bill. The governor sent a letter to the state government, seeking that the matter pending before the high court be settled first.