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maestro25i

information from cantonment board regarding illegal constructions and building plans

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SomeGuy
hi, very informative, but i believe the mrtp act as such does not apply to cantonments. cantonments are very peculiar that way, they have a lot of autonomy in a sense .
You are right! Although it applies to every corporation, municipal council, nagar panchayat, zilla parishad, MHADA, NIT, slum redevelopment authority, and Regional board in Maharashtra, Cantonments are not mentioned.

 

However, even Cantonments must have Development Plans, land use zones, etc. and there has to be some enactment which specifies how they are to come into being. I glanced briefly at the Cantonments Act, 2006 which replaces the Cantonments Act, 1924. Sections 233 to 264 describe the process of grant of building sanction, but its quite sketchy on the process through which Development Plans, land use zones, road alignments, etc. are specified. Is this specified in Rules/Regulations/bye-laws?

 

regards,

SomeGuy

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SomeGuy
chalk up another notch on the rti act :)

got the information requested under the act.

Congratulations. :) The real fun can begin now. If you plan to file any appeal to the Cantonment Board, or suit where Cantonment is a party, your limitation clock started the moment the Sanctioned Plan was provided to you. Try to stay within it.

 

now, though i have the sanctioned building plan, i think it alone might not be enough for me to pursue further legal action, i must now ask for the entire file including any revisions and notings ... so that if the issue goes to court i have all the information required.
Could you clarify this? Do the sanctioned building plans not show the violations of bye-laws that you believed are happening? Have you checked FSI calculations, etc. yet?

 

If the sanctioned plan does not contain any violations or illegality, and the construction is in excess of the plan, your task is actually easier since illegality can be clearly seen. You also don't have to worry too much about limitation, although you do have to worry about getting a stay on ongoing construction.

 

If the construction is according to the plans, which are in violation of bye-laws and whose sanction was obtained by lubrication, demonstrating this becomes a little harder.

 

In this situation, besides filing a WP, I see two other possible options in the Cantonments Act, 2006.

 

1. Section 340 provisions for "Appeals from Executive Order", for orders specified in schedule V. Item 12 in this schedule refers to "refusal to sanction the erection or re-erection of a building", which can be appealed to the Principal Director within 30 days from service of communication of the order to you. Although strictly speaking, you wish to challenge an order for grant, not refusal of sanction; they might interpret this liberally and admit an appeal from you under this section.

 

2. File civil suit. Section 250(1):

(1) After the commencement of this Act, no court shall entertain any suit, application or other proceedings in respect of any order or notice unless an appeal under section 340 is preferred and the same is disposed of by the appellate authority under sub-section (3) of section 343 of this Act.
makes this a little complicated, especially as it appears to contradict section 344 at least to my reading. Attempt to skirt around section 250(1) by stating that section 340 does not provision for the appeal that you wish to make, thereby leaving you with no legal remedy other than to approach civil court. In this case your limitation window is specified by sections 339(1) and (3) which give you max 4 months to give notice of suit to cantonment, after which you can file suit after another 2 months.

 

If the construction is according to plans, which show no violation of bye-laws, I suspect that getting them overturned merely on the basis of procedural improprieties in grant of sanction would be quite hard.

 

In any case, file both the RTI applications suggested by shri Rajneesh Madhok and me above, preferably through different applicants. You could also combine them. Additionally, specifically ask for all note-sheets on which computations checking if plans are in consonance with FSI and other bye-laws have been made.

 

regards,

SomeGuy.

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maestro25i

heyy someguy ..

how are you :) long time..

 

well the plans are going to be inspected by an architect for his professional opinion before i can decide what step to talk...

one detail that stands out is ... the deductions claimed by teh builder...

out of a total constructable fsi of approximated 2000 square meters nearly 3200 sq meters is shown in the plan and deductions of 1200 sq meters are claimed .. to arrive at a final area of 2000 sq meters which is the maximum allowable. that is nearly 60% deductibles claimed ! this is according to the sanctioned plan. i am tryin to find out if the bye laws have been violated in granting such high deductibles.

 

also the amount of contruction appears to be accordign to plan in numbers, but slighly bigger in size. also things like porches being covered, balconies being covered etc have been done..

 

i also have the copies of the builder asking for a compoletion certificate , and of the cantonment rejecting it specifying various small vagaries from teh sanctioned plan. but the amount of illegal contruction appears to be too small to really pursue the matter accordign to the documents ive got.

 

i am very surprised as to how this is possible, coz the constructed area looks massive vis a vis other buildings close by which barely fit the fsi on same sized plots.

 

so correct me if im wrong, but my next step should be, get the plans examined by an architect , adn in the meanwhile ask for the full file of the construction will file notings and revisions in plans etc if any

 

also among the suggestions has been to ask if any complaints have been received against said construction and the cantonments action on that.. is that permisssible under the rti ??

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whackpack

maestro,

 

make sure the architect who opines on the approved plan is well versed with the cantonment bye laws in particular, and doing regular practice in the cantonment board, if possible. this will help you in understanding what relaxations are routinely offered, what interpretations of the laws are prevalent, and which are 'special'.

 

along with the other documents you are seeking, pay particular attention to the copy of the approval letter and the charges paid for obtaining approvals, along with revisions done down the line, as referred by you. if at all the approved plan has been fabricated later (meaning modified), the areas as indicated in the charges paid, file notings and approved plan will not match.

 

sometimes, paying attention to the dates, viz a viz signatures reveals that the concerned officers did not have the charge for which they have signed during the period as indicated, in case of fabricated papers. also, the approval numbers & dates, as indicated on the approval letter, approved plan and file notings can reveal a lot

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SomeGuy
heyy someguy .. how are you
I'm good. :)

 

out of a total constructable fsi of approximated 2000 square meters nearly 3200 sq meters is shown in the plan and deductions of 1200 sq meters are claimed .. to arrive at a final area of 2000 sq meters which is the maximum allowable. that is nearly 60% deductibles claimed !
FSI usually depends on type of permissible user, but larger plots sometimes get a bit more FSI. What are the provisions regarding TDR (Transferrable Development Rights) in your Cantt area? If use of TDR is permissible, see if he has loaded or used any in the plot. Ask using RTI. :) Even without TDR, check bye-law provisions for things like "premium areas", "balcony areas", etc. "premium areas" are areas of passageways etc., which on payment of "premium charges" per square foot, you get to exclude from your FSI calculations.

 

also things like porches being covered, balconies being covered etc have been done..
On the presumption that people will anyways enclose their balconies a few years later, which is mostly a compoundable act, local authorities often incorporate in bye-laws a provision permitting "balcony areas" to be enclosed at the time of construction itself, along with removal (or absence) of the wall seperating it from the room; of course again subject to payment of "premium charges". Permitted balcony areas can be as high as 15% of the floor area.

 

If your Cantonment bye-laws include such provisions, a developer can increase his allowable FSI by almost 50% after counting balcony areas and premium areas. The balcony provision is especially atrocious. Promoters build big fat columns, nominally maintaining the required front/side/rear margins at the ground floor. But floors 1 and above have a cantilevered section of the slab jutting out on all sides as the "enclosed balcony with separating wall removed". End result is tree-shaped buildings which make a mockery of open space requirements.

 

And this is before TDR comes into the picture.

 

but the amount of illegal contruction appears to be too small to really pursue the matter accordign to the documents ive got.
Wait for the architect's analysis to come in. You have to go through each individual bye-law and confirm that it has not been violated. I would be quite shocked if it turns out that you (with all of us aiding and abetting) have victimized the one honest builder in Maharashtra. :)

 

Actually, why don't you get the plans scanned and post them to bighelpers.org for comments. You'll have to score the bye-laws as well though. You can check things like distances and area calculations much more easily from a digitized plan.

 

so correct me if im wrong, but my next step should be, get the plans examined by an architect , adn in the meanwhile ask for the full file of the construction will file notings and revisions in plans etc if any
Yup. See all the comments above in this regard.

 

also among the suggestions has been to ask if any complaints have been received against said construction and the cantonments action on that.. is that permisssible under the rti ??
Of course it is.

 

regards,

SomeGuy

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maestro25i

hey,

there is no tdr permissible here..

so any excesses are deductibles either valid or gotten by greasing a few palms, or direct violations...

the cantonment has found some discrepancies which they have detailed in the report i received under the rti and have denied the builder the completion certificate, but the violations didnt look like much.

 

i am slightly loathe to put up copies of the sanctioned plan online publicly .. not just yet.. if its alirght with you i could make a copy and forward them to you .. for ur perusal and observations..

and once this case is over, we could put a nice summary of everything done , violations found and action taken and results on teh bighelpers site for future reference of others similarly afflicted ..

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SomeGuy
hey,

there is no tdr permissible here..

K, What about "premium area" and "enclosed balcony"?

i am slightly loathe to put up copies of the sanctioned plan online publicly .. not just yet.. if its alirght with you i could make a copy and forward them to you .. for ur perusal and observations..

That'd be cool. However, the plans themselves would be of little use without the complete and current Development Control Regulations (DCR) or Building bye-laws. Are there standardized bye-laws applicable to all cantonments in existence? Are they perhaps available online somewhere? But even so-called standardized bye-laws are often modified by individual local authorities before adoption.

 

Actually, once you get the bye-laws, file another RTI application quoting the official document number and date of notification in the gazette of said bye-laws, and ask for certified copies of all updates and modifications to the same till date. Add a request for certified copies of any other applicable rules or bye-laws applicable to the property in question, which were enacted before the date of said notification, but are un-repealed.

and once this case is over, we could put a nice summary of everything done , violations found and action taken and results on teh bighelpers site for future reference of others similarly afflicted ..
That'd be cool too.

 

By the way, is there a "Development Plan" or equivalent in existence for the cantonment? That is where the precise "usage zone" of the property is normally specified. This is relevant for determining the road frontage/front margin required, FSI permissible, whether shop frontage is permitted, whether shops in basement or upper floors are permitted, etc.

 

regards,

SomeGuy

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SomeGuy
the cantonment has found some discrepancies which they have detailed in the report i received under the rti and have denied the builder the completion certificate, but the violations didnt look like much.
This would imply that construction is complete, or at least mostly complete. Is that correct?

 

regards,

SomeGuy

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whackpack

your actions at this point of time are critical, maestro. it is possible that the authorities are not granting the completion certificate at this time as they know that your eyes are on the case in question, and granting completion certificate may put them in a (further) tight spot

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maestro25i

ill be confirming all the details regarding the byelaws on monday..

yup construction is mostly complete , i wasted a lot of time earlier communicating without the help of the rti :/. and even the rti took about 4 months just to get the building plan..

but no matter , still enough time !

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maestro25i

hey y`all :)

 

regarding the byelaws, they are quite regular, nothing in particular written about them , the normal building code is followed in the cantonment with two exceptions, one 15 feet must be left on all sides of the compound wall for plots over 500 sq meters and the height cant be abvov 2 floors ..

 

otherwise here is the status update

the issue has been progressiong, but as of now the rti is not being used, hence wasnt much to post here...

gist,

from the rti i have received the plans and a letter telling me the cantonment has deined the completion cert and its reasons for doing so.

they have listed various violations, but havent mentioned the excess fsi caused by the same.

 

i have asked under the rti for the extra fsi consumed by such violations, and just not teh details of the violations ..

 

hopefully they dont come up with some excuse to not provide this info, though i cant think of any, who knows, they can get quite creative :D

 

on a side note, inspite of completion certificate being denied, interior work is ongoing full swing, and they intend to occupy the premises as early as within a week or two. any particular law or procedure i can use to get the cantonment to stop this, besides section 246 of the cantonment act ?

 

trying to stop this illegal work is like standing infront of a train, lol, no matter wot i do , the builders just keep on building !!

 

hopefully ill have the last laugh when they build everything and it gets torn down

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SomeGuy

Hi maestro25i,

 

regarding the byelaws, they are quite regular, nothing in particular written about them , the normal building code is followed in the cantonment with two exceptions, one 15 feet must be left on all sides of the compound wall for plots over 500 sq meters and the height cant be abvov 2 floors ..
By "normal building code" do you mean the Development Control Regulations applicable to the city of Nashik? While bye-laws in different municipal jurisdictions may be largely similar, there are almost always some city/town/cantt specific variations. Two examples of cantonment building bye laws that I could find online are for Agra and Dehradun. While they have some elements in common, there are also significant differences. Often, the starting point for bye-laws of different cities is some set of "standardized bye-laws". But the exceptions carved out to these are separate in each jurisdiction and make all the difference. To build your case, you will have to point out violations of specific, applicable bye-laws (or combinations of them).

 

If you haven't already, file an RTI application asking for certified copies of the complete building bye-laws applicable for the period from the date the builder submitted his application upto the date of reply to your RTI application. Include a demand for certified copies of any notifications through which amendments, if any were made during that period.

 

regards,

SomeGuy

 

PS: If it is indeed the Nashik bye-laws that you were referring to, are those available online anywhere?

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SomeGuy

from the rti i have received the plans and a letter telling me the cantonment has deined the completion cert and its reasons for doing so.

they have listed various violations, but havent mentioned the excess fsi caused by the same.

If the drawings show construction in excess of permissible FSI and were sanctioned as such, cantt authorities are hardly likely to admit their own error/complicity by mentioning it. In fact in many jurisdictions, Municipal authorities are required to pay compensation for loss incurred in modifying any structure to comply with bye-laws, if it was build under "valid" sanction.

 

i have asked under the rti for the extra fsi consumed by such violations, and just not teh details of the violations ..

Can you post this application? Cos they may try to reject on grounds that it isn't "information available in material form".

 

regards,

SomeGuy

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SomeGuy
yup construction is mostly complete , i wasted a lot of time earlier communicating without the help of the rti :/. and even the rti took about 4 months just to get the building plan..
I have learnt the hard way that it is usually a massive waste of time pursuing "complaints" and the like where there is no statutory requirement on part of the authority to do anything about it.

 

Its far better to take the effort and figure out exactly what the statute stipulates and to avail of the remedies provided therein, if any. Statutes like the RTI Act which stipulate time bound decisions are particularly nice.

 

Most officials will try to dissuade you from doing the latter and con you into doing the former, for obvious reasons.

 

regards,

SomeGuy

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maestro25i

here is a copy of the fresh rti application i intedn tomake asking for the actual fsi violation based on the the violations pointed out by the cantonment in denying the completion certificate.

any advice or improvements are welcome as always

 

To,

The public information office

Sub :Request for information under the Right to Information Act, 2005

 

Dear Sir,

 

I, Mr , a citizen of india, apply for the following information under Sec 6(1) of the RTI Act.

 

As per your reply to the builder denying him completion certificate via letter no. only the measurements of the many violations are mentioned. Nowhere is it mentioned that due to these violations how much extra fsi has been used over and above what is permissible. Also we have brought to your notice (via our letter dated july addressed to the CEO with the Subject: Response to letter no. dated further possible violations that should be verified. Also I am again bringing to your notice that the cupboards are larger in size than what is legally permissible by your own admission and have windows in them. Hence they are not cupboards and any deductions claimed for them are null and void and cannot be considered. Any calculations done must be done with this in mind.

 

Hence Under the RTI ACT, We ask you to provide us with the actual quantum of excess Fsi violation found in construction on plot XYZ in square meters / square feet.

 

It is requested that this information along with documents may please be forwarded to the undersigned in English language, duly attested/certified by appropriate authorities so as to make them legally admissible in a Court of Law.

 

My contact details are

 

thank you

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whackpack

SomeGuy, that is extremely good guidance

 

In fact in many jurisdictions, Municipal authorities are required to pay compensation for loss incurred in modifying any structure to comply with bye-laws, if it was build under "valid" sanction.

 

can you please cite some jurisdictions where the above is applicable. Online links to relevant bye laws would be great.

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SomeGuy
Nowhere is it mentioned that due to these violations how much extra fsi has been used over and above what is permissible. Also we have brought to your notice (via our letter dated july addressed to the CEO with the Subject: Response to letter no. dated further possible violations that should be verified.
This part provides background information. It is not strictly necessary, but may be kept.

 

Also I am again bringing to your notice that the cupboards are larger in size than what is legally permissible by your own admission and have windows in them. Hence they are not cupboards and any deductions claimed for them are null and void and cannot be considered. Any calculations done must be done with this in mind.
This part makes claims and comments unconnected to a request for information. It is liable to get the application rejected on grounds of "being in the nature of a grievance and not a request for information".

 

Hence Under the RTI ACT, We ask you to provide us with the actual quantum of excess Fsi violation found in construction on plot XYZ in square meters / square feet.
They could dodge this claiming that "the requested information is not available in material form".

 

regards,

SomeGuy

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akash saraf
hey , they rejected my application over a small mistake, the survey number i gave them was only half ... even tho the rest of the request such as the name of the project and area etc were mentioned also..

 

coudl someone tell me ithe f building plan of a society under construction is a public document ? can the buildermojixeta111 object to the cantonment giving out such information under the rti act ?

 

thank you

Buildg. plan comes under the definition of 'Information" as per RTI Act.Builder can't object for the same.Go through rti.gov.in for more information.

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Sharifa Khatri

Please give me the address of the office in mumbai from where I can get copies of documents of a passed government. It is regarding conversion of Vacant Land Tenency plot to Slum plot.

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akash saraf

Your address your RTI application to,"The State Public Information Officer,c/o Office of the Town Planner", ( Name and address of the concerned corporation )

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whackpack

the Town Planning Office does not convert tenancy plot to slum plot. it has to be with the revenue department of the collector, i feel. of course the PIO of the Town Planning office can always forward the application to the revenue department of the Collector office, but i would rather put in a seperate RTI application in both the offices...

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rajyadav017

All the information with the Public authority can be disclosed under the rti act 2005.Only private info of the third party can be withheld eg income return etc if it does not serve the public interest.Its better to pursue the rti application.

 

 

thank you

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javeed_khan

Mr.Maestrio

yes the plan that is sanctioned can be called for under rti and the details related to theplan can also be requested. The builder cannot object. You just ask for the plan they have to provide it.

javeed

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