Friday, April 12, 2013

How Many Lives We Need To Curb Illegal Constructions?




Common sense and history tell you that rewarding illegal behavior will only encourage more of it....Ric Keller
Put in very simple way by the Republican Party's USA politician about making laws for illegal trade practices. And they are applicable Globally & not just for any single country as after all law may be different at places but definition of the term illegal is same world wide. Problem is at our end we not only neglect illegality but rewards it most of the time by our acts & its not just govt or politicians but the entire society seems to be victim of the trend. Recent example of Thane building mishap is a classic example of this attitude. Now when the building has collapsed taking more than seventy lives & numbers of injured there is  a race to prove how every individual or organization wasn't part of the illegality of the building. What's shocking is the first reaction of every concerned was, may it be Municipal Corporation or Forest Department or Police or Local Politicians, that its not their responsibility. Nobody was saying yes its his or his organizations responsibility & they will try to do whatever best they can to help the victims & see that there will be no more such mishaps or illegal buildings! Here I cant stop praising USA & the way they learn from their mistakes, though the example of 26/11 of fall of Twin Towers isn't applicable here but after than in last ten years there wasn't a single terrorist attack in USA is a fact. And look on that background situation here in our own State leave apart country, each time such mishap happens Govt organizations cry over each others, media unleash their attack on everybody including politicians, municipal authorities & builders, few more such structures are demolished with lots of publicity through well organized press conferences. The State Govt promptly pays compensation to the victims & in few days every thing settles down like the dust of the fallen building!

One thing I always wonder after reading this compensation thing that had the Govt paid these people when they were alive then surely with that amount they could have bought their home with some legal developer saving their lives! Well but in our country we all value life when its put out of the body & this Thane mishap wasn't exception to it as immediately Chief Minister's office declared some lacs of rupees to each victim as well injured. Whats use of this money to them when they have lost all of their life's savings? .

Once again as usual Municipal Bodies all over the State got shaken awake & the Chiefs were busy in conducting meetings of their concerned building permission as well encroachment departments & a big drive was taken up against the illegal construction & we all read the news about it. So the show of action against illegal construction is on. Now nobody is asking question whose responsibility is it or the land on which such buildings are their comes under jurisdiction of Irrigation Dept or Forest Dept or Municipal Corporation! Well for a while the scene looks real soothing for common man's eyes but we all know how much time it will last, hardly a month & then again we all we forget illegal constructions till the next building cracks up & again there will few more deaths! Exactly how many deaths Govt wants to finally clear the issue of illegal construction is the question people & media should ask?

Long back in my school days in Chemistry I have leaned about a thing like byproduct i.e. its a outcome of chemical reaction in acquiring some main product. On similar concept all along the country especially in so called growing & prospering state like Maharashtra Urbanization is very fast & illegal construction is like a byproduct of this growth & prosperity. The Govt or the system which governs or boasts themselves as cause for this prosperity have been a complete failure to curtail or tackle this byproduct of the growth.As the outcome was urbanization that too at very fast rate making land prices in City's & Metros shot like rocket so whatever land is available becomes the gold mines for the people whom media & common man may call builder but I wont. As these are not builders but persons at par with gangsters or terrorists as no sane builder who wants to make money will go & build on any land available not checking its legality or status & build something in haste over here & the sell it to the ignorant people & fly away with their hard earned money. This is act of a criminal & should be named as criminal only not builder or developer & the punishments should be also accordingly, then only next time no person will dare to do something like this under the name of the developer!

Now coming to the main question why the people book their home in such buildings & come to live even after seeing the way it has being constructed, risking their & their dear one's lives? Well by me, need is the only answer to this question. As the population of cities growing our Govt is total failure to accommodate this population. At Govt level there is a housing department for name sake & so is urban development but what they are interested is in making the rules so stringent that no developer can build the building on whatever little clear title land is available & then the product when gone through number of NOC's get so costly that hardly 1% people who are in need of home can afford it. The policies seems to be for those 1% only but we are forgetting the target should be making the homes available for those who need them & not for those who has just buying power at market rate. I always wonder whenever I read the news about regularizing the illegal buildings made on Govt lands may it be forest or irrigation , if a private person can encroach them & build a building & sale then why the Govt on its own build buildings there & sale to the needy ones , making it legal? There we need all the procedure & documentation & red tape process but for encroachment the very same system just become blind & only opens the eyes when we loss lives of innocent people! I think the concerned departments should be working on the ways to make more & more unused land come under used for building homes & make policies to see that these homes get delivered to people who cant afford to buy a home in some real builders project. For this we need to have a detailed information all such lands & get them marked on site & take in proper protected possession & for any illegal encroachment their should be shoot at sight like laws. As the problem is not with any criminal getting hold of such lands & build illegal building over there, the problem is he knows he will get client for such illegal structure & get away with it. As any building whatever fastest way its build cant be done in over night, so what all the agencies are doing till this time we all know that. Rather illegal building construction has become a big money earning business not just the so called builder but its racket  involving number of Govt organizations as well political people is a known fact now. And its this systems protection which makes the criminal named builder dare to do such act.

Its high time even the developers who work genuinely should unite & join the social forces for the fight against illegal construction & the whole real estate is getting blamed for the acts of these kind of people who plays with the lives of needy people under the name of being a builder. The job is not just Govt's but every body's & its high time to look at the price we are quoting our product & margin of profit. Agreed every business is done for making money only but how much that money should be , its the time to decide it & act. This must be the only trade or business where the lower price of selling is fixed by ready reckoner which is like a MRP for homes. And joke is while all other products are sold below MRP by law here in real estate we cant sale below MRP, making sky is the limit for land price as well flat price! Its job of Govt to control land prices as then only the finish product which is home can be make affordable to all & that's the solution to stop illegal construction as if ever one is getting home by his capacity in legal way then who will go for illegal home? If we don't act fast then today there are few people who are encroaching the lands & buildings buildings over them tomorrow there will be millions of needy people who will be doing that & then there will be no real estate like industry is a writing on the wall.
--
Sanjay Deshpande

Sanjeevani Dev.

Envo-Power Committee, Credai, Pune
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