De­vel­op­ers mis­us­ing Green FAR?

Mon­i­tor­ing projects is a chal­lenge as green rules are open to ex­ploita­tion

HT Estates - - NEWS - Van­dana Ram­nani

Sev­eral In­dian states may have taken steps to pro­mote sus­tain­able living but the ques­tion re­mains whether green rules are be­ing im­ple­mented in the right spirit or are be­ing ex­ploited by builders who are us­ing ad­di­tional floor space to build extra tow­ers, floors and schools.

Ac­cord­ing to Ro­hit Raj Modi, director Ashi­ana Homes, some states grant green FAR in prin­ci­ple, after which ad­e­quate au­dits from green rat­ing agen­cies con­firm that the builder has car­ried out con­struc­tion as per green norms. Ad­di­tional FAR is granted only after that. Since the developer gets to utilise the ben­e­fit only after con­struc­tion of a pro­ject, any changes made in the plan or de­sign is a clear in­fringe­ment of the rights of the buy­ers, say le­gal ex­perts.

Section 5 of the UP Apart­ment (Pro­mo­tion and Con­struc­tion, Ownership and Main­te­nance Act, 2010) clearly l ays down that a per­son by virtue of an al­lot­ment has an un­di­vided right over the en­tire plot of land. Since FAR is cal­cu­lated in re­la­tion to the plot of land, the court has ruled that the FAR is di­rectly re­lated to the patch of land and hence the buyer’s con­sent for any changes made is im­per­a­tive, says S K Pal, a Supreme Court ad­vo­cate.

Green FAR is one of the many “pro­mo­tional” ac­tivit i es under t aken by t he author­ity. A builder usu­ally gets this FAR in lieu of land given for metro con­struc­tion, if he con­structs a green build­ing or for EWS hous­ing. Builders can­not get 5% green FAR at the on­set as it is dif­fi­cult to as­cer­tain if the build­ing is ac­tu­ally green be­fore it is con­structed. The builder has to get the pro­ject au­dited and get a cer­ti­fi­ca­tion to that ef­fect.

Mis­use is ram­pant. In one case, a developer wanted to con­struct some vil­las on the 5% extra green FAR given to him, but when the mat­ter went to high court, he got a stay on the ba­sis of the Apart­ment Act 2010. He was later made to give an un­der­tak­ing that he will not con­struct the vil­las.

Some buy­ers who moved into a “green” pro­ject in Noida claimed that the lay­out of the plan was changed to ac­com­mo­date the ad­dit i o n a l g r e e n FAR . T h e size of the club area was re­duced to ac­com­mo­date a school build­ing that shared the same en­trance with the apart­ment com­plex. Also, many of the green fea­tures promised by the builder in his brochure such as lights in the com­plex get­ting switched off au­to­mat­i­cally when not in use to save en­ergy etc had not been given to buy­ers post con­struc­tion.

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