Ahmedabad: A war of words broke out on Tuesday
between the main Opposition Congress and the ruling BJP in
Gujarat over a Bill which was returned by the Governor.
Gujarat Regulation of Unauthorised Construction Bill
2011 was unanimously passed in the last budget session of the
Assembly. The Bill aimed at regularising about 15 lakh illegal
properties in Gujarat by charging impact fee.
However, Governor Kamla returned the Bill to the State
Assembly recently, saying it does not propose any permanent
solution to the problem of illegal construction in the state.
Gujarat Pradesh Congress Committee President Arjun
Modhvadia said the Bill was not in "proper" form and falls
short of providing any permanent solution to the problem of
On the other hand, the BJP Government accused the
Congress of "using party`s influence to impress upon the
Governor that the Bill is returned".
Modhvadia said, "Congress is with the people who have
been duped by builders and developers. We want that the 15
lakh (illegal) properties constructed earlier are regularised.
We had supported the Bill and it was passed unanimously."
"We have also told the Government that they should
take the impact fee from builders and developers and not the
owners of such (unauthorised) properties."
Modhvadia demanded that the Government come out with
stringent laws to curb illegal constructions.
He said the Congress will bring a private member bill
in the Assembly demanding regularisation of illegal properties
which have come up in the past. "But our bill will say that
impact fee should be charged from builder and developers who
have flouted the rule."
Urban Development Minister Nitin Patel hit back at the
main Opposition party.
He said "statements by Gujarat Congress chief clearly
indicate that it is due to their influence that the Governor
has returned the Bill which was passed unanimously by the
Assembly to benefit lakhs of middle and lower middle income
group people of the state."
"On one hand they want to stall the Bill and on the
other they are now saying they will bring a private member
bill in the House on the issue. They stand exposed in front of
the people of Gujarat," Patel maintained.
"In the Bill we have proposed that the impact fee
collected from the people should be used for development of
that particular town or city," the Minister added.