Karnataka govt plans regularisation of rural private houses

BENGALURU: After getting a go ahead from the Karnataka High Court to regularize illegal buildings in urban centres, the state government is now planning to regularize private houses across rural Karnataka.

These will include residential farmhouses located on private land and independent houses in small towns (other than city corporations) which have been built without converting land or taking necessary permission from the panchayat concerned. The government reckons that houses which have been there for decades, but whose owners are devoid of land rights, should be regularized. This will not just ensure that the owners have a right over their property, but also help fill the government coffers through a nominal penalty, property tax and cess.

“We have already initiated a dialogue with the rural development and panchayat raj department on how to go about it. Based on the outcome of these meetings, we plan to draft a bill and table it during the budget session,” said revenue minister Kagodu Thimmappa.

According to a rough estimate, regularization of constructions on private land is expected to benefit about 25 lakh households and generate a revenue of around Rs 1,000 crore.“It’s certainly not about revenue here. It’s all about swaying the rural voters,“ government sources conceded.

Once the bill is passed, the government will take immediate steps to regularize buildings on private land and provide title deeds for the same.”Many people in rural Karnataka who have houses on their own land are suffering because they have no title deeds for the same. This is because they would have gone ahead with construction without converting their land for residential purpose. In such a scenario, neither can they sell nor mortgage the property to raise a loan to meet any exigency,”said sources.

Earlier, the state had decided to regularize such constructions only on government land in rural areas. To regularize construction of houses on government revenue land in urban and rural areas, the government inserted new sections -94 CC and 94C -in the Karnataka Land Revenue Act, 1964.

Last week, the government also decided to reduce the fee for regularization of unauthorized houses built on government land in rural areas and small towns by up to 50%, and extended the deadline for submitting applications for regularization. About 20 lakh people have already opted for it, and, in all, over 40 lakh families are expected to benefit from this.

With the government proposing to extend the scheme to private landowners, another 25-30 lakh rural households are expected to benefit, said revenue department officials. The government is hoping that this would eventually translate into votes in the 2018 assembly polls.

Credits ET Realty

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