November 3, 2022
SHIMLA – Every election, people of Shimla are promised the regularisation of unauthorised constructions under the retention policy, but no government has ever resolved this issue of the city.
During every election, people of Shimla are promised the regularisation of unauthorised constructions under the retention policy, but no government has ever resolved this issue of the city.
Thousands of buildings are unauthorised in the capital of the hill state of Himachal Pradesh. Implementation of the retention policy in the city has always been a big political issue in wards of Shimla urban, Shimla rural and Kasupti constituencies.
Presently, there are more than six thousand illegally-constructed houses with non approval of maps (house plan), with many more houses in ‘Merged Areas’ which were under Punchayat till year 2007.
Earlier in Panchayat, since there was no strict rule for building a house according to the map, people used to construct buildings according to their own wish. Therefore, some people constructed multi-storey buildings.
After these areas merged into the Municipal Corporation, they were outlawed. People living in these areas were not aware of the laws regarding the construction and raised buildings in the wake of increasing demand for residential and commercial purposes amid rapid urbanisation.
According to the municipal corporation, all the buildings made without maps cannot be regularised. While Due to lack of proper setbacks left during the construction, while almost 100 percent deviation from the building plan in the illegal construction, the Municipal Corporation Shimla allows only 10 percent deviation, that too, with some fees as penalty. The construction in the areas which were cropped up first in Panchayat and now have come under the jurisdiction of Municipal Corporation will be considered illegal.
Now, these illegal houses are neither in the Panchayat nor do they come under the community regularisation.
Kacchi Ghati, Totu, Majhyaat, Tutikandi, Khalini, New Shimla, Pateyog, Vikas Nagar, Panthaghati, Malyana, Dhalli and Mashobra has the maximum number of illegal buildings in Shimla. In the middle of the Shimla city Krishna Nagar, Fagli and Nabha also have many illegally raised buildings. These illegal buildings have mushroomed to an extent where mass demolition would leave people homeless and cause a possible law and order situation.
Talking to The Statesman, People living in Krishna Nagar, New Shimla, Nabha and Totu, said they are not getting basic amenities on domestic rates Illegal buildings, they don’t even get water tariff for domestic connection. Even though the Municipal Corporation does not allow further construction in the buildings, people are still doing carrying it out without any permission. Earlier, people were not even getting electricity connection on domestic rates, but this year the government relaxed this condition and allowed domestic electricity connection without NOC from Architect Planner of MC Shimla.
In 15 years, Congress and BJP governments ruled the state and many times promised to implement a retention policy, but nothing much is done for the people living in illegal buildings. It was declared that people who deposit a certain amount of money can legalise their buildings. Many people were asked to send applications, but this process failed in the absence of retention policy.