The Coimbatore Corporation has asked people to verify the genuineness of layout documents before buying house sites, lest they end up buying sites on unapproved layouts. The caution comes in the wake of a case registered against two persons forging layout documents to sell unapproved sites as approved ones.
When a group of residents in a colony applied to the Corporation for water connections, the layout documents were found to be forged. It was found that they had been allegedly cheated by the persons who sold the sites and claimed to have developed a layout and got it approved by the Local Planning Authority (LPA).The Corporation wants the people in the city to be cautious enough not to become victims of such malpractice.
Commissioner Anshul Mishra says people can check with him or the Town Planning Officer at the main office whether a layout is approved or unapproved. This can be checked with the Assistant Commissioners and Assistant Town Planning Officers in the four zone offices also.
(The Corporation is regularising house sites in unapproved layouts, purchased till July 25, 2006, under a scheme for regularisation of unapproved layouts introduced by the Government. The scheme does not apply to layouts formed after this cut-off date. So, people will land themselves in trouble if they buy sites on such layouts. They will not get any basic amenity such as drinking water connection, road, drainage and street light.)
The present case relates to Bagavathi Nagar, a layout of 23 sites formed without approval after July 25, 2007, in the West Zone of the Corporation. Apart from showing forged layout documents, those who sold the sites also produced fake receipts of the Corporation to claim that they had paid the development charges for the layouts. A check by the Corporation revealed that no such payment had been received on the date mentioned in the fake receipts.
Mr. Mishra says the civic body plans to put all plan details on its website so that people can know of the norms. People must be wary of the problems that they can land in when they buy such sites. “We can punish the sellers. But, what can we do to the buyers who become inadvertent culprits. So, prevention is the best option,” he explains. Registration Coimbatore Consumer Cause secretary K. Kathirmathiyon says this problem can be checked when registration of land in unapproved layouts is banned again. An Act to ban the registration came into force in 2000, but was withdrawn in 2007 to make some amendments to it. The amended Act is expected to come into force soon. When registration of sites is not possible, the purchase/sale cannot be effected. So, the solution is provided at the earliest stage itself.
But, till the Act comes into force, people should ask the promoter to furnish the original approved plan of the layout and check the original signature of the competent authority, namely the Director of Town and Country Planning (if the layout is above five acres) or the Joint Director/Deputy Director of the Local Planning Authority (if the layout is below five acres).