Unauthorised constructions in Pune: What home buyers need to watch out for

[] With numerous unauthorised constructions coming up in Pune, we look at what such constructions are and how prospective buyers can identify and guard against these

For many in Pune, their plans of lavish living came at a huge cost. During the many months of the lockdown during the COVID-19 pandemic, unscrupulous persons came together to excavate, level and sell plots in the eco-sensitive Sutardara (Sahyadri ranges) near Kothrud. Much of the construction happened in survey number 112 of Kothrud, between Rambaug Colony and Shivteerth Nagar, in ward number 11 of the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC). Now, the civic body has slapped notices on over 150 plot buyers who built properties in this bio-diversity park, which is also a no-development zone. However, this is not the first time that Pune has lost precious land to the land mafia. Areas in Parvati, Taljai, Warje and Katraj have also been exploited in the past.

You are reading: Unauthorised constructions in Pune: What home buyers need to watch out for

The appearance of pucca homes, approach roads and power supply to these properties in Sutardara caught the eye of the civic body in this case. The Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) estimated around 7,000 unauthorised constructions. The Kharadi-Wadgaonsheri area had the highest number of illegal constructions. This was followed by the Sinhagad Road-Parvati area and Ambegaon-Katraj-Dhankawadi area. Besides, the Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) had an estimated 70,000 illegal structures, most of which fall in the flood line areas.

The real problem arises when the buyer puts in his entire savings to buy the property and then learns that the property or the site was not authorised. Many cannot afford the consequences that follow. Therefore, one must be careful when investing.

What is an illegal construction?

An illegal or unauthorised construction is one that is built without the PMC’s permission. Even when additional floors or any other structure is constructed without permission or a sanctioned plan, it is deemed illegal.

Pune unauthorised construction

Can unauthorised constructions be regularised in Pune?

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Not all unauthorised constructions can be regularised. There are various parameters, based on which the authorities can take the decision. In 2015, the Maharashtra government formed a committee to study the case of burgeoning illegal constructions across Pune. As per the committee’s recommendations, the state government decided to legalise constructions that were built prior to December 31, 2015. By 2017, the urban development department issued a notification, calling for regularisation of all such properties.

It is important to understand that due to various reasons, regularisation does not go about as expected. For instance, in 2019 the state government had to extend the date by which illegal property owners could submit documents, pay the penalty and get the property authorised. The turnout was poor and the state government decided to give a six-month extension for such buyers. Note that in case of inaction on the part of the home owners, the civic body can decide its own course of action.

The civic body may decide the parameters based on which the property can be authorised. These include:

  • Allowing repairs and maintenance
  • Construction should be before a specified date
  • Width of approach road
  • The property must get NOCs from the concerned departments
  • Height of the building
  • Floor space index (FSI) should be within the permissible limit

Can PMC ask for demolition of illegal structures?

Yes, the PMC has the power to do so. In the case of plot buyers in the Sahyadri ranges, the development and construction department of the PMC has flung into action. Demolition notices have been served under sections 52 and 53 of the Maharashtra Regional and Town Planning (MRTP) Act of 1966. Such plot buyers are required to remove all the construction by themselves and all expenses would be borne by them, too. The authority is suspecting a political and private nexus here and the officials say there could be more than 150 offenders in this case. Each plot ranges between 100 and 2,000 sq ft and while many were barricaded and sold as smaller parcels, buyers may have felt that these were legal plots for sale. Therefore, many went ahead and bought these plots and constructed multi-storeyed homes.

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Can a property be built in the green zone?

Yes, building permissions can be obtained for properties in the green zone, provided the rules are followed. A maximum of 4% construction is permissible in green belts, for golf clubs, nurseries, furniture godowns, electrical substations, wastewater projects and their staff quarters, sports, health clubs, tennis courts, service restaurants, farmhouses, etc. Do refer to the new limits of sanction under the development control rules of the PMC.

Read also : 18 Mumbai builders get stop work notice for defaulting on premium payment

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What is the maximum height permissible within PMC limits?

A maximum height of up to 100 metres is permissible, depending on the plot area and the road’s width.

PMC old limit

No. Permissible height of high-rise building Minimum plot area required (sq metres) Minimum approach road required (metres) Set-back margin except front margin (metres) Front margin (metres)
1 More than 36 metres up to 40 metres 2,000 12 9 9
2 More than 40 metres up to 50 metres 4,000 15 9 12
3 More than 50 metres up to 70 metres 6,000 18 10 12
4 More than 70 metres up to 100 metres 8,000 24 12 12

Source: Pune Corporation

PMC extended (new) limit

No.  Permissible height of high rise building Minimum plot area required (sq metres) Minimum approach road required (metres) Set-back margin except front margin (metres) Front margin (metres)
1 More than 36 metres up to 50 metres 2,000 12 9 9
2 More than 50 metres up to 70 metres 6,000 18 10 12
3 More than 70 metres up to 100 metres 8,000 24 12 12

Source: Pune Corporation

List of documents required for building permission in Pune

The moment you plan on shortlisting a property, ask your developer whether he or she has the following documents to show you. Once you do this due diligence, you can be somewhat assured of the project’s legality. While the real estate law has made things easier, there may be vulnerable buyers, looking for affordable property and may get lured by fly-by-night developers. The list is as below:

  • Licence engineer’s/architect’s registration certificate
  • Ownership document -latest copy of 7/12 extract /property card
  • Proposed building drawing
  • Measurement plan issued by the city survey department
  • Copy of sanction layout (if applicable)
  • Zoning demarcation
  • NOC from the land acquisition department, PMC
  • Property tax Pune no dues certificate
  • Appointment letter of structural engineer
  • Title and search report
  • ULC order (if applicable)
  • Shapath patra and band patra
  • Copy of registered power of attorney, if applicable
  • No-objection certificate from water supply department, if applicable
  • No-objection certificate from fire department, if applicable
  • No-objection certificate from charity commissioner (in case of trust property)
  • No-objection certificate from Air Force department (if the property is located in the vicinity of an airport)
  • No-objection certificate from Railway Department, MIDC, Maharashtra Pollution Control Board, Central Pollution Control Board, the district magistrate, etc., if applicable.
  • No-objection certificate from the labour commissioner, if applicable
  • No-objection certificate from the deputy registrar (applicable for society redevelopment projects)


Does property tax bill receipt prove that my property is legal?

No, a property tax bill and tax paid receipt, does not mean that your building is legal or sanctioned. These proofs are not sufficient.

What is the FSI permissible in the new city limit in Pune?

In case of unauthorised sub division, the FSI is restricted to 0.75 in non-congested areas. It is 1.0 in congested areas. In case of sanctioned layouts, the FSI permissible is 1.0.

Where can I get the development rule book for Pune?

The development control rule book for Pune is available on the PMC’s official website.

What is the minimum area required for building permission?

It is 20 sq metres, as per the sanction development control rule.

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Category: Lifestyle

Debora Berti

Università degli Studi di Firenze, IT

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