Patna,(BiharTimes): With a view to disciplining the builders the Bihar Assembly on Thursday passed the Apartment Ownership (amendment) Bill, 2011. The Bill was passed with a voice vote, rejecting all the amendments moved by the Opposition.
The new law tightens the legal noose around builders if they violate rules while constructing high-rise buildings.
The clauses include a penalty up to Rs two lakh in case a builder/developer disregards the approved map passed under the State Apartment (Amendment) Act, 2006, while constructing a building.
Apart from that, the new law empowers the Urban Development Department to immediately stop the illegal construction and imprison the erring builder.
It makes it mandatory for the builders to get themselves registered with the Urban Development Department. The builders/developers have been made liable to allot the flat within the agreed/promised timeframe. In case they fail to do so, punitive action can be initiated against them.
The Bill says that the flat owners should have a compulsory co-operative society registered with the government so that they can be made to pay the taxes against public services and amenities they are availing.
The Amendment Bill was moved by Urban Development Minister Prem Kumar during the post-lunch session of the House.
However, moving his objection, leader of Opposition Abdul Bari Siddiqui said the new amendment had no meaning as the government had failed to properly implement the Apartment Ownership Act, 2006.
It is a welcome step ,if the law is enforced rigorously in letter as well as in spirit. There has been an indiscriminate and mushrooming growth of apartment constructions in Patna and builders have been flouting even the current norms and legal requirements under the existing laws in respect of Floor Area Ratio (FAR), provision of drainage and sewerage facilities and no action has been taken against them, despite the matter having been brought to the attention of authorities. The apartments have been constructed in congested areas on narrow lanes resulting in hellish hygienic and sanitation conditions. No wonder that Patna High Court termed Patna as a “garbage city”. Let us hope that the authorities implement the new law seriously and make Patna a really liveable city with facilities on par with the best urban settlements in the country
Former Chairman, Bihar State Farmers Commission