Saturday, January 26, 2019

Illegal Construction, Real Estate & Satellites!

“In any country there must be people who have to suffer. They are the sacrifices any nation has to make to achieve law and order”…. Idi Amin.

Well actually no need to intro this guy as my genre grew up reading his horrific stories the way he ruled yet for those who are not exposed to the name Idi Amin, was a Ugandan politician and military officer. He was the President of Uganda from 1971 to 1979, and his rule gained notoriety for its sheer brutality and oppressiveness. Yet his above this quote I dared to use as the subject is such, yes it’s about as usual Illegal Constructions & the System which makes it grow! I really wonder when every day I read the news papers which are in a way a window to outer world at the same time a mirror also showing us reflection of what we are because when we read news about our Pune city & the citizens somewhere we forget that it’s us only about whom the news is mostly yet we conveniently forget this fact & go on with the life cursing every other but the face in the mirror! I might sound a bit frustrated but then the news was such, so not fetching your patience more will share; the news rather two news wee there which on face may look separate but very much connected in actual. First news was the case going in Hon. High Court regarding issue of Illegal constructions which by now has spread like stage three (final stage) cancer in not just PUNE or Mumbai but entire State. Only thing is Pune, Mumbai & Thane are always in lime light & here land is more in demand due to millions migrating every day so here the illegal constructions ( read any construction) comes on radar of many NGO’s , Politicians, Govt, Media & lastly Common Man for their respective interests associated with the same! And that’s the reason illegal constructions issue is always burning hot here & in that context Hon High Court has suggested or the govt itself has come up with the idea (does it matters actually?) that here after help of satellite (yes you read correct, it means flying real satellite) will be taken to keep eye (don’t ask of whom) on illegal constructions so as to control them. Well, superb, wow, innovative, out of the world, fabulous & what not are the reactions come to mind, so over helmed I was when I read the news but finally no word came out of my mouth! By the way this was obviously for new illegal constructions is what govt meant as for govt there is no illegal construction exists in Pune or Mumbai as all are being regularized or at least is what the millions of people living in such constructions thinks & their elected leaders assures them so! Well, there are some fool citizens too who don’t accept these illegal constructions necessity & cant se the good they are bringing to poor fellow citizens who resides in these constructions as well the builders, politicians & few officers who eventually make some money out of all these constructions & keep on banging doors of  “Andha Kanoon” i.e. Hon Courts. Outcome is not only innocent people living in such illegal constructions has to live under constant fear (actually I doubt about it) but such court petitions makes our "Mai Bap" govt also to run around all the time. After all its govt & its govt’s job to take care of voters first, law comes later as laws don’t make you win elections but voters does! How can these fools who goes to courts against illegal constructions don’t understand these basics of today’s system which we call society, I fail to understand!

And then it’s because of such fools even the courts has to take cognizance of the cancer named illegal constructions ^ chess govt to demolish them as well control them. Actually the whole illegal construction thing makes me remember a mythological demon that used to trouble entire world & when gods finally thought of killing him, a war started. The problem was whenever the gods weapons use to cut or injure this demon as soon his blood use to spill on ground, from that more his clones’ demons used to generate, that was the blessing this demon has got from none other than Lord Vishnu. Now how to kill such demon was the question in front of gods, so they went back to Lord Vishnu with their inability to kill the demon. Lord Vishnu then asked Goddess Lakshmi who the in the form of Kali, started fighting with the demon as she also created her many clones & whenever the blood from the body of the demon spilled out the Kali used to lick it by her long tongue thus not allowing the blood drops touch ground & finally she cut the head of the demon! Well, sorry if the readers are clueless with this story; the demon in our story is illegal construction, gods are the fools who are fighting against illegal construction (yes there are still such around), Lord Vishnu is our Mai Baap govt which includes political leaders & bureaucrats who protects such constructions under various names (read policies) & the problem is we don’t have goddess Lakshmi who can take form of Kali to cut down illegal construction named demon! And result is you raise down one building which is illegal (even that is difficult now a days) & hundred such comes up around is the scene!

If you are thinking I am exaggerating the issue then read any news paper & find the statements by local authorities about the illegal constructions; right from inadequate staff to machinery to no police protection, govt gives every possible reason even filing an affidavit to the court that such construction are a must so as to give homes to poor! But the govt sees that illegal constructions not only survives but grow & the news like using satellite for keeping eye on illegal construction is one more ace in the pack! The joke is this govt thinks courts (read judicially) is real blind & deaf & dumb too or else they wouldn’t have continuously come up with such genius ideas on the subject of illegal constructions as first a technology like satellite is used to give us information to us from the areas (read locations) where human can’t easily reach i.e. the place is in remote inaccessible part of the land or sea. For e.g. in dense forests of high mountains ranges or desserts, here if some activity is happening then as you can’t easily reach there physically then you can use satellite to check the progress or present scene of such activity but what we call illegal constructions is happening in day light in front of very eyes of all the system (read PMC/ PCMC/ PMRDA)& they have all the authority as well back up to not just keep eye on such illegal constructions but to demolish or stop it but they are not doing it, so what difference satellites can make but adding expenses in the form of fat bills for such service to some consultancy as well such service provider firms! May be that’s what the govt wants in first place!

And then there was second news about corruption & the problems in convicting the accused in such cases by judicially itself as well the system we call govt. One will say what’s the relation of these two news but it’s the delay in convicting the corrupts , may it be concerned officers, elected members or even the private players (read builders) is what main reason behind growth of illegal constructions is a hidden fact! As who is supposed to keep an eye on illegal constructions & who makes it, not some aliens but they all are very much humans like you & me. And its only the system (read judicially also, with due respect) which protects such humans who are responsible for illegal constructions so they dare to build such buildings & looking at them their clones also starts doing the same. That’s why govt puts forward ideas like satellite monitoring for illegal constructions as who will monitor the satellites, but these very humans so what assurance that use of satellite will stop illegal constructions, someone needs to ask  this question in first place!

The issue of illegal construction is the worst thing that can happen to real estate as on  one side polices like GST as we hundreds of NOC’s are making building the projects difficult every day. On top of it the very same govt which speaks about use of hi-tech things like satellite, can’t even run successfully simple things like issuing online 7/12th extract types primary document essential for real estate. Then the clumber-sum process of getting plans sanctions by obtaining things like demarcation of land to water/drainage nocs’, oh yes environment clearance too & now feather in the cap is Aviation NOC!  The time taken in all these is years not just weeks or months, the Mai Bapp govt don’t have time to make use of technology & reduce this time so as more projects (read legal) will roll out in lesser time which in itself is sure way of reducing illegal constructions. But No, we want to show Hon Court how much keen we are to stop illegal constructions that’s why we are going to use satellite for this, see how serious we are but in actual reality we turn a blind eye on illegal constructions as now satellites are watching it, great! And when I say illegal constructions I don’t mean just buildings, I mean every that activity which occupies public space like roads, govt lands, river, gardens, forests which are supposed to serve the society but are being used for some other purpose benefitting a few while the masses suffers due to such use, that’s what I mean illegal! For e.g. even a book or CD stall on footpath of FC road is also an illegal construction as it occupies public space illegally & makes nuisance to pedestrians who has first right on the foot path! Now why you need a satellite for that & if you don’t then why every footpath of this city is not encroachment free from such illegal occupations, is the question I want to ask entire city, not just to some govt dept!

Because real estate suffers from every such illegal constructions or occupation & dying a slow death is a brutal fact which we are ignoring. As the legal building has to compete with illegal buildings, they either have to perish (read, bare loss) or follow a path of illegality directly or indirectly. Ever increasing ratio of carpet to salable area is the outcome of increasing product rates without poor (read foolish) customers knowing so & what a legal builder can do as he has to pay every single premium which govt charges under hundred heads, pay the interest charges for the delays to start the project due to so called on line systems (which never works) by the govt which talks about use of satellites & yet he has to compete with some  (read many) illegal builders who can sale way below than the legal one as illegality comes free of cost while its legality which is tagged as costly! And on the top of it the system (read again even judicially) helps illegal constructions in both ways, one by turning blind eye towards them & second delaying conviction of any such personals involved in illegal constructions! Remember if for an innocent person, "justice delayed is justice denied” then for a guilty person, “justice delayed is justice killed”, is the logic! When I say justice killed that means loss of fear or respect for the law, in the eyes of common man! High time for the good people in real estate (yes there are few left still) to raise the voice against illegal constructions & more than that govt’s false, two mouthed stance about the same. As a city grows only by following & respecting law or else why to make Development Plan (DP) or have Development Control rules like things, remove everything & let anybody build whatever he or she wants! As what next after using satellite to keep an eye on illegal constructions, hire aliens to demolish them, I am sure next reply filed by the govt will include my this idea as aliens are not from this planet so no one (not even ministers) can threat or pressurize them, neither will they take bribe nor they will ask for cream posting like things!

Rather I suggest let’s remove the word (terminology) “Illegal Constructions“, itself from the law books. Believe me just imagine how much good it will make to society (read govt) as no more law suits & paying heavy fees to lawyers to defend such constructions, no more pressure on govt officials t demolish such constructions, no more accusing on bureaucrats as well politicians for accepting bribe to allow as well protect illegal constructions, no more staff required to demolish or stop such constructions & that  staff can be used for some more creative works (like generating ideas like satellite use), no need to spend years in making DC rules of DP of the city & then again getting it through General Body like procedure, taking time of our  "Mananiyas" i.e. elected members! And mostly everybody is free to build by his will & then clients also won’t be bothered to check whether their life time’s earning is being put in a home which is legal or illegal as there won’t be anything illegal itself! Wow, that will be real Smart Way to make this city Smart & free of illegal constructions, what say Smart Citizens? Till then keep reading such news about illegal constructions & get entertained; by chance if you are a law abiding builder then do follow every rule/law, even if you make loss & if you are law abiding flat buyer then pay more EMI yet book your home in legal construction with such law abiding builder only (read fool builder). But if you are a Smart builder then don’t bother, just build what you want to, without any permission & sale to some Smart buyer, who are always there in search of Smart builder like yours!
Sanjay Deshpande 
Sanjeevani Dev.

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