Akrama Sakrama is a complete fraud, but that hasn’t stopped state governments — of different parties — from trying to get it passed into a law. Now the latest attempt to push it through is being made. But we should have no doubt that it will greatly harm our cities, and worsen an already entrenched culture of corruption in public administration.
There are many things wrong with this scheme. While regularization may be unavoidable, given the scale of what has happened so far, if it’s not done right even now, that’ll be an open invitation to let things carry on as they are in future too. Let us look at the many points of failure in what is being proposed.
The proposal doesn’t include any penalty for officials who connived in the illegalities. In fact, they have not even been identified.
There is virtually no transparency. Which are the properties to be regularized, and to what extent? Let the government put up that list first.
It doesn’t require the consent of neighbours to regularize violations. The state is giving a free pass to people whose violations hurt their neighbours’ quality of life, as though it were the affected party.
It doesn’t have any roadmap for stopping the violations in future. In fact, since the time Akrama Sakrama was first proposed in 2004, the government hasn’t even moved a finger in this direction.
It ignores the fact that existing provisions of the Karnataka Town and Country Planning Act can deal with most violations, and this law is actually not needed at all.
In the case of Bangalore, having notified a Metropolitan Planning Committee recently, the state government no longer has any role in city planning.
No one seems to care that after regularization, unplanned neighbourhoods will be just as bad as they are now.
It is not clear what happens to people who don’t come forward to declare their violations, or those whose violations are in excess of the regularizable limit; i.e., the worst offenders are not tackled.
Let us also understand why this legislation is moving forward, despite all these. The correct way to fix the broken system — through new town planning schemes, transparently, with neighbours’ consent, etc. — requires hard work, patience and diligence over years. Not wanting to do this, the government is giving itself a free pass, and hoping that enough citizens will support it for their own private benefit, despite all the tragedies it will vest upon our cities.
LEGITIMATE AND LOGICAL OBJECTIONS HAVE BEEN RAISED AGAINST THIS SCHEME AND SUBMITTED TO THE AUTHORITIES AT THE URBAN DEVELOPMENT DEPARTMENT, BUT AS USUAL, WILL BE REJECTED OR NO ACTION WILL BE TAKEN TO REDRESS IT NOR THESE OBJECTIONS WILL BE IGNORED.
IT IS FELT, THAT `STAY ORDER` MIGHT BE VERY DIFFICULT TO GET VACATED AS IMPORTANT ISSUES HAVE NOT BEEN PROPERLY ADDRESSED IN THE AMENDMENT AS IT CONTAINS BLACK LOOPHOLES.