No way out for home­buy­ers in NCR af­ter NGT 2013 or­der

While con­struc­tion has been re­stricted in Noida Ex­ten­sion due to the lat­est Na­tional Green Tri­bunal or­der, an­other or­der in 2013 af­fected many projects in the eco-sen­si­tive zone

HT Estates - - HTESTATES - Ashutosh Li­maye

ANa­tional Green Tri­bunal (NGT) or­der in 2013 and yet an­other one re­cently have col­lec­tively had a greater neg­a­tive im­pact on home­buy­ers in the Na­tional Cap­i­tal Re­gion ( NCR) than on the de­vel­oper com­mu­nity. While home buy­ers were caught un­awares and con­tinue to re­main jit­tery with the re­sul­tant de­lay in pos­sess­ing their homes, th­ese two NGT or­ders re­veal the apathy au­thor­i­ties and de­vel­op­ers have to­wards buy­ers.

In one case, sev­eral builders hav­ing projects ad­ja­cent to the eco-sen­si­tive zone (ESZ) around the Okhla Bird Sanc­tu­ary have not been able to hand over pos­ses­sion of homes for the last year-and-a-half due to the Oc­to­ber 2013 or­der of NGT, which stopped Noida Author­ity from giv­ing com­ple­tion cer­tifi­cates to projects within a 10 km ra­dius of the sanc­tu­ary. In the sec­ond case – a re­cent NGT or­der – de­vel­op­ers not ad­her­ing to the 2010 guide­lines of the Min­istry of En­vi­ron­ment and Forests (MOEF) have been re­stricted from fin­ish­ing their con­struc­tion projects in Noida Ex­ten­sion. The guide­lines out­lined in the or­der are re­lated to check­ing pol­lu­tion dur­ing con­struc­tion ac­tiv­i­ties, and the pre­cau­tions that need to be taken by the builders.

Many re­al­tors in Noida and Greater Noida did not fol­low MOEF-2010 guide­lines dur­ing con­struc­tion be­cause there was no way for the lo­cal pol­lu­tion watch­dog and other con­cerned au­thor­i­ties to mon­i­tor their ac­tiv­i­ties.

Many buy­ers have paid al­most in full for their homes in th­ese lo­ca­tions, but af­ter the NGT or­ders, they do not know when they will be able to move into their new homes or even sell their apart­ments. A few years ago, Noida Ex­ten­sion had seen f ar mers protest­ing against land ac­qui­si­tion in the area, which had led to all con­struc­tion ac­tiv­ity com­ing to a halt in 2011. The fi­nal or­der on the land ac­qui­si­tion is pending with the Supreme Court.

Buy­ers in NCR are un­sure about get­ting early re­lief, since de­vel­op­ers halt work as soon as any new court rul­ing comes in and is fully un­der­stood by them. Court cases, on the other hand, tend to drag on for very long in the In­dian ju­di­ciary sys­tem. End-users not only have to shoul­der the bur­den of pay­ing EMIs but also their on­go­ing monthly rentals, while si­mul­ta­ne­ously re­main­ing un­sure of when they will start get­ting re­turns on their cap­i­tal val­ues.

Like­wise, de­vel­op­ers can­not be sure of court rul­ings halt­ing their work even on land parcels they have pur­chased di­rectly from the gov­ern­ment. Such land is con­sid­ered to be free of all is­sues and as hav­ing clear ti­tles; how­ever, as the Okhla case shows, they too can do face the brunt of un­cer­tainty, and de­serve to be heard.

Al­ready, de­vel­op­ers in In­dia need count­less ap­provals. Hav­ing a cen­tralised ap­proval and mon­i­tor­ing sys­tem at the state level is of ut­most im­por­tance in In­dia.

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