Akrama Sakrama is a complete fraud. There are many things wrong with this scheme. Sadly, Congress, BJP and JDS appear to be united in their attempts to destroy the city. Regularisation may be unavoidable, given the scale of what has happened so far, but if it’s not done right even now, that will be an open invitation to let things carry on as they are in the future too.
(a) The proposal does not include any penalty for the officials who connived in the illegalities. In fact, they have not even been identified.
(b) There is virtually no transparency. Which are the properties to be regularised, and to what extent? Let the government put up that list first.
(c) It does not require the consent of neighbours to regularise violations. The state is giving a free pass to people whose violations hurt their neighbours’ quality of life, as though it were the affected party.
(d) It does not have any roadmap for stopping the violations in the future. In fact, since the time A/S was first proposed in 2004, the government has not even moved a finger in this direction.
(e) It ignores the fact that existing provisions of the Town Planning Act can deal with most violations, and no exceptions are needed.
(f) In the case of Bangalore, having notified a Planning Committee, the state government no longer has any role in city planning.
(g) No one seems to care that after regularisation, the unplanned neighbourhoods will be just as bad as they are now.
(h) It is not clear what happens to people who don’t come forward to declare their violations, or those whose violations are in excess of the regularisable limit. I.e. the worst offenders are not tackled.
Let us also understand why Akrama Sakrama is happening, despite all these. Because the correct way to fix the broken system – through new town planning schemes, transparently, with neighbours’ consent, etc. – requires hard work, patience and diligence over years. Not wanting to do this, the government is giving itself a free pass, and hoping that enough members of the public will support it for their own private benefit, despite all the tragedies it will vest upon our cities.