On the last day of Monsoon session, Himachal Pradesh Assembly passed the HP Town and Country Planning (Amendment) Bill, 2013, incorporating provisions of HP Apartment and Properties Regulation Act, 2005 which would stand repealed after the new Act comes into force.
The Bill makes it mandatory for builders to earmark at least 25 per cent of developed land for weaker sections, lower income groups and bona fide residents of the state.
The Apartment and Properties Regulation Act, 2005 has been repealed and the provisions made in Chapter II and Chapter III of the Act have been incorporated in the amended Bill.
While discussing the Bill, Town and Country Planning Minister Sudhir Sharma informed the House that the government had decided to repeal the Apartment Act as per the recommendation of the select committee of the Vidhan Sabha a year and a half ago.
The minister also said that the issue of bringing about a retention policy to regularise unauthorised construction was under the active consideration of the government. Sudhir Sharma stated that Government considering “one time settlement” of building constructed in violation of norms and provisions of various Acts.
The government had brought the Bill considering 13 recommendations given by the Assembly’s select committee in 2009, which had looked into the Himachal Pradesh Apartment and Property Regulation Act, 2005 as there were complaints of gross violation of provisions.
Members across party lines welcomed the amendment along with the decision of the government to scrap the Himachal Pradesh Apartment and Property Regulation Act, 2005.
Participating in the debate, Suresh Bhardwaj, who headed the select committee of the Vidhan Sabha which recommended the repealing of the Apartment Act, said it was a welcome step. Bhardwaj also sought a one-time settlement of all houses which were yet to be regularised as those were built in violation of norms.
Himachal Lokhit Party legislator Maheshwar Singh, Congress Kasumpati legislature Anirudh Singh also gave valuable inputs during the debate. Anirudh Singh sought a retention policy as thousands of house owners, especially in his constituency, were waiting for regularisation of their structures.