The state urban development department plans to nail officials who don’t act against unauthorised constructions to ensure a pro-active approach towards ending the menace. As of now, only people responsible for unauthorised constructions risk punishment under the Maharashtra Regional Town Planning (MRTP) Act. Officials say the proposal, which requires an amendment to the MRTP Act, is a result all of the flak government and local self bodies have been receiving from courts for their failure to check illegal constructions. If approved by the law and judiciary department, it will be placed before the cabinet. At present, only those responsible for encroachments or illegal constructions can be imprisoned. But if the new proposal is cleared, even officials who ignore unauthorised constructions or do not follow-up after serving a notice will be liable for punishment. Illegal construction attracts three years’ imprisonment under section 52 of the MRTP Act.
September 11, 2017