CLU charges disparity
THERE IS A NEED TO RATIONALISE CHANGE OF LAND USE CHARGES FOR COMMERCIAL CATEGORY IN TOWN PLANNING SCHEME AND NONSCHEME AREAS TO BETTER REGULATE THE DEVELOPMENT IN STATE’S URBAN AREAS
The conversion charges for converting non-commercial land to commercial space in different schemes and planning areas differ widely in the town planning scheme (TP scheme) areas and non-TP areas in Punjab.
It is another anomaly in the disjointed legal environment of urban development in the state.
“The conversion or change of land use (CLU) charges in the TP scheme area is more than 80% of the maximum charges in the non-TP scheme charges for converting into commercial spaces,” said a senior official of the department of local government.
He added: “This encourages illegal constructions and penalises people following rules and seeking approvals in the TP-scheme areas.”
TP schemes areas are approved residential colonies either under the Punjab Municipal Corporation Act, 1976 or Punjab Municipal Act, 1911.
Non-scheme areas consist of core city areas, the illegal colonies, whether regularised or unregularised, and the agricultural lands falling in the residential zone of the master plan.
TP schemes areas are the planned areas whereas the nonscheme areas are unplanned in nature.
CLUAND COMMERCIAL AREAS
The CLU (conversion) has been defined under Section 81 of Punjab RegionalTown Planning and Development Act, 1995 (PRTPD Act 1995) as the conversion of agriculture land to the use specified in the master plan.
The Municipal Act, 1911, and the Municipal Corporation Act, 1976, have no definition of the CLU.
The municipal building byelaws define CLU as the change in land use from residential to commercial.
The local body department came with a notification in 2013 clearly establishing the CLU and defining the CLU in accordance with the Punjab Regional Town Planning and Development Act, 1995.
CLU was defined for the TP scheme area, non scheme, vacant unoccupied land and agriculture land.
Though the Municipal Act and notification dated April 2013 clearly defines the change in land use and allowed conversion from agricultural, vacant undeveloped land, residential, industrial, warehousing to commercial as per the master plan provisions in non-scheme areas, the Punjab Regional Town Planning and Development Act, 1995, does not allow such conversions except from agriculture to commercial.
Minimum area for commercial colony complex outside municipal limits has been earmarked as 1000 sq mt.
It is specifically mentioned that minimum area within municipal limits will be notified by local body department.
But the local body department has till date not defined any minimum area criteria for commercial complexes, commercial colonies for getting the CLU.
The minimum area criteria for TP schemes are 100sq yd but for non-scheme area, vacant urbanisable, unoccupied land and agricultural land, no minimum area land has been specified.
The Municipal Act allows the conversion of residential, industrial, warehousing uses to commercial uses.
Prior to the notification of master plans the CLU was allowed on the roads declared commercial by the respective municipal corporations.
At some places, the commercial-declared roads are as narrow as 20ft as the minimum road width for commercial activity was not defined within the municipal limits.
After the notification of master plan,the commercials were allowed on the roads having width more than 60ft in the proposed commercial/residential/ industrial zones as per the master plan.
DISCREPANCY IN CLURATES
The CLU charges were imposed on August 2006.
The charges imposed in 2006 were ₹1,500 per sq yd and it was proposed to increase the charges by 10% in April every year.
Prior to August 2014, the CLU charges, both in the TP scheme and non- scheme areas, were same but the local bodies department came with a notification on August 2014 based on the development charges under the Punjab Apartment and Property Regulation Act (PAPRA), 1995 and reduced the CLU charges for non-scheme areas while the CL U charges for TP schemes were retained the same as mentioned in August 2006 notification.
The CLU charges in nonscheme areas vary from city to city and range from ₹620 per sq yd in case of Ludhiana to ₹388 per sq yd in case of Patiala, whereas in TP scheme areas the charges are ₹4,250 per sq yd.
In October last year, the government reduced the CLU charges on commercial properties, marriage palaces, petrol pumps, hotels, hospitals, institutions and others by 25% within municipal limits across the state
The state government reduced the CLU charges on commercial properties, marriage palaces, petrol pumps, hotels, hospitals, institutions and others by 25% within municipal limits.