In a landmark move, the President of India has given her approval to the amendment in the Maharashtra municipal councils, Municipal corporations and MRTP act 2010, whereby the municipal officers who allow illegal constructions to stand despite complaints now face jail for a month or a fine of Rs.25,000. Mr.Bhaskar Jadhav (Minister of Urban Development) informed the legislative assembly recently.
The modification of the above acts, allows appointment of an officer to the said municipal corporations, councils, panchayats and industrial townships (MIDC),who will ensure demolition of illegal structures. If the officer doesn’t perform his duties to demolish illegal constructions, he will be either imprisoned for a month or fined Rs.25000.
To ensure that the officer does his duty unhindered, the govt has already sanctioned the deputation of a DCP or ACP to the municipal corporation, council, panchayat etc.
State law amendments are sent to the Centre for approval if the matter they deal with is on the concurrent list. Since the modification deals with imprisonment, it was sent to the President for approval.
But before you start celebrating, the devil lies in the details, namely, the Rules for such a prosecution, which are yet to be framed. The Minister of Urban Development says that the framing of rules will take a couple of months.
Until then, its business as usual. What happens after that will depend on how tight the rules are.
If implemented in true spirit, expect a lot of demolitions around you. It should keep the Municipal corporation busy for a long time.