The prob­lem with com­ple­tion cer­tifi­cates

Your prop­erty doc­u­men­ta­tion must in­clude a com­ple­tion cer­tifi­cate. Un­for­tu­nately, a lot of rules are al­legedly be­ing flouted for ob­tain­ing one

HT Estates - - Front Page - Arati Bhar­gava

The port­fo­lio of prop­erty pa­pers owned by a per­son is not com­plete with­out a com­ple­tion cer­tifi­cate (CC). This doc­u­ment is as im­por­tant as the sanc­tion of build­ing plans by the con­cerned au­thor­i­ties.

How­ever, a ma­jor chunk of prop­er­ties in the Cap­i­tal do not have a CC. The rea­sons for this could be, first, that build­ing rules have not been fol­lowed in con­struct­ing the prop­erty, and the need for a CC does not arise in the ab­sence of sanc­tioned build­ing plans. Sec­ond, both builders and own­ers of­ten con­struct more than what is sanc­tioned in the build­ing plans and then do not get the CC as they do not qual­ify for it. The third fac­tor is the mu­nic­i­pal sys­tem, which grants the CC. Though mu­nic­i­pal au­thor­i­ties main­tain that it is easy to get the CC if the prop­erty owner has built as per the build­ing sanc­tioned plans, this con­tention is too sim­plis­tic and some­what dif­fi­cult to be­lieve. A num­ber of prop­erty own­ers al­lege that “over­head costs” are un­of­fi­cially given to of­fi­cials con­cerned to “ex­pe­dite” and also to give the CC. Peo­ple al­lege that even when the con­struc­tion of their prop­erty is strictly as per plans, they have been forced to give “over­heads” as they did not want of­fi­cials to drag their feet in giving them the CC.

It is also al­leged that prop­erty own­ers who have built far more than what was sanc­tioned in their build­ing plans, also “man­age” to get the con­cerned inspecting of­fi­cials to turn a Nel­son’s eye to the vi­o­la­tion.

When asked about the ve­rac­ity of the al­le­ga­tions, mu­nic­i­pal of­fi­cials hotly deny that any kind of cor­rup­tion ex­ists in the sys­tem.

The gen­eral be­lief is that if a prop­erty has a CC it is com­pletely above board and safe as CC is only given when the con­struc­tion is as per plans sanc­tioned. This is not true. For one, the CC could have been ob­tained by an “oblig­ing” of­fi­cial (mu­nic­i­pal of­fi­cials deny this). Sec­ond, the owner could have made ad­di­tional con­struc­tion af­ter ob­tain­ing the CC which then would be unau­tho­rised and not nec­es­sar­ily safe. A prop­erty buyer, thus, would be well ad­vised to ac­tu­ally check out whether or not the prop­erty is as per sanc­tioned plans and the CC.

The CC is ti­tled Ad­hib­hog Pra­man Pa­tra and is is­sued by the build­ings depart­ment of the con­cerned civic agency. Once the rel­e­vant pa­pers are sub­mit­ted by the prop­erty owner the CC is usu­ally given in about a month. The su­per­in­tend­ing en­gi­neer or the deputy com­mis­sioner of a mu­nic­i­pal zone has the author­ity to sanc­tion the CC the case of prop­erty of 400 sq yard or more. The ex­ec­u­tive en­gi­neer con­cerned will give sanc­tion for prop­er­ties of less than 400 sq yard area. The of­fi­cials as per law also do al­low for some de­vi­a­tions from the sanc­tioned plans. This in­cludes ex­tra con­struc­tion like 5% of the plot area or 13.5 sq mt, which­ever is less.

In­ter­est­ingly, a CC is not manda­tory for regis­tra­tion of a prop­erty sale. There had once been a move by the gov­ern­ment to make a CC com­pul­sory for sale regis­tra­tion. The mat­ter, how­ever, was shelved ow­ing to wide­spread protests against it. For those who like to have their pa­pers in or­der strictly as per rules, it is ad­vis­able to have the CC. Ur­ban plan­ning should fo­cus on af­ford­able hous­ing if In­dia is to ad­dress the prob­lem of 18.78 mil­lion hous­ing short­age. So­cio-eco­nomic plan­ning should go hand in hand with spa­tial plan­ning. This was one of the rec­om­men­da­tions made at NAREDCO’s 11th an­nual con­ven­tion on Sus­tain­able Hous­ing for Masses: In­tro­spec­tion and way for­ward.

The two-day con­ven­tion, that at­tracted over 400 del­e­gates from across the coun­try, high­lighted that op­ti­mal util­i­sa­tion of land, es­pe­cially of gov­ern­ment-owned land parcels, could im­prove land avail­abil­ity for real es­tate de­vel­op­ers. In ad­di­tion to the need for un­lock­ing land held by pub­lic sec­tor un­der­tak­ings, stake­hold­ers de­lib­er­ated on other key is­sues such as de­lay in ap­provals from mul­ti­ple lo­cal au­thor­i­ties, the need for more in­no­va­tive fi­nanc­ing op­tions for low­in­come groups among other is­sues.

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