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For Possession Delay, MahaRera Overrides Arbitration Proceedings



D S Kulkarni Developers Delays Possession, MahaRera

In a first-of-its-kind ruling, the Maharashtra Real Estate Regulatory Authority has stated that it can supersede arbitration applications as well as issue orders to complaints filed by a co-purchaser.

While hearing a complaint, MahaRERA said this, registered by a buyer here against D S Kulkarni Developers for the delay in possession of a flat in DSK Mayurban project at Pirangut.

As Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act (RERA) was enacted after the Arbitration and Conciliation Act of 1996 MahaRERA clarified that it has the jurisdiction over the arbitration applications.

While provisions of RERA have an overriding effect over the provisions of section 8 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996, they can get the jurisdiction to adjudicate upon disputes related to an arbitration deal.

The bench at MahaRERA asked the developer to pay interest of 10.05 percent on the amount of Rs 4.54 lakh from July 1, 2017, till the date of handing over possession along with Rs 20,000 towards the complaint cost. As the developer was paying the EMIs on the amount provided by a finance company, they did not have to pay any interest on it to the buyers informed MahaRERA.

The complaint of Ganesh Lonkar against DSK Developers was being heard by the bench of BD Kapadnis and the adjudicating officer. The developer was building DSK Mayurban and was to hand over the flats by June 30, 2017. As the developer failed to deliver the flat as per the deadline the complaint was filed under section 18 of RERA.

According to the developer’s advocate, the matter was to be moved to the arbitrator instead of MahaRERA as per the deal with the buyers.

MahaRERA said a complaint filed by one of the booking party was “maintainable in law”. The adjudicating officer said the “necessary party” means “a party without whose presence a matter cannot be adjudicated effectively, completely and in a just manner”.

As the extended period to hand over the flat expired on December 29, the order said the case “clearly comes” under section 18 of RERA.


Affordable Housing: Government To Ease Green Norms To Provide A Boost



Government To Ease Green Norms To Provide A Boost

The central government has proposed to ease green norms for the construction sector, in order to make ‘housing for all by 2022’ a reality. In this proposition the projects up to 50,000 sq. metres will need no prior ‘environmental clearance’.

Increasing the threshold of built up area for getting the relief from 20,000 sq. metres to 50,000 sq. metres, the environment ministry has released a respective draft notification. After the latest updates, the construction project however still have to meet “environmental conditions” by providing certification and self-declaration, as they continue to seek construction/building permission from the local authorities.

Various suggestions and views of all stakeholders has been sought by the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC), within the 60 days of the draft notification after it will be finalised.

But the proposal is once again expected to face legal battle from the environment ministry as it will dilute environmental laws in favour of ease of business. This new step by the government has raised several issues as the according to the environmentalists, this would become a free pass for the builders to misuse the norms for constructing the multiplexes and shopping malls. Whereas the ministry has stated that the proposed move will organize the permissions for building and construction sector to complete its objective to provide “affordable housing” to the weaker sections in urban areas.

According to Ritwick Dutta, environment lawyer, the draft notification is out of context as it will only benefit the developers and also cause severe damage to the environment in cities. The lawyer claims that the ministry has brought this draft in violation of the recent order of the National Green Tribunal (NGT).

A previous quashing of such notification by NGT’s order is taken as a referral by Dutta. He said that in December 2016, the ministry issued one such notification, in which the size of 5,000 sq. metres to less than 20,000 sq. metres will not need prior environmental clearance. When challenged in the NGT, the notification subsequently got quashed.

“A ploy to circumvent the provisions of environmental assessment”, called NGT in its January 2018 judgment for the December 2016 notification of MoEFCC. According to the tribunal, under the country’s environmental laws, this step by the ministry would “considerably dilute the environmental safeguards”, hence asking the ministry to re-examine the notification.

Following the matter, the ministry saw NGT’s order in the Supreme Court. And now the ministry has come out with a fresh proposal, in which the project threshold will see an increment from 20,000 sq. meters to 50,000 sq. meters, even as the matter falls pending before the Supreme Court.

The “Housing for All” programme by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, aims to provide 12 million affordable housing units in urban areas by 2022. Last month saw the approval of the creation of Rs. 60,000 crore National Urban Housing Fund by the Union cabinet, to finance this programme. According to the data provided by the government, 0.5 million houses have been completed out of the proposed 12 million houses and the remaining houses have already been launched.

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SDMC Implements Colour-Coded Zonal Map To Check NOCS For Building Plans Permits



South Delhi Municipal Corporation

A colour-coded map is being used by the three municipal corporations in Delhi to pave the way for the surety about the requirement of no-objection certificates (NOCs) for a particular property. Within the ease of doing business in order to get the building plans applications processed online, the South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) has developed the map in collaboration with the Geo-Spatial Delhi Limited (GSDL).

In the last two years, 3,838 building plans have been sanctioned by the SDMC under the ease of doing businesses. Introduced in 2016, this online facility allowed the residents of all the three municipal corporations to apply for construction permits without visiting offices.

Sharing some of the milestones of the project, P K Goel, SDMC Municipal Commissioner said that the plans were now sanctioned through a “single-window system only”. According to him, the development of a single super-imposed colour-coded zonal map is a major reform as now the confirmation of the requirement of nature and extent of NOC for a particular property can be provided in a fraction of a minute.

The new map is fast and efficient in providing reliable information on the requirement for an NOC as by just a click on a particular location on the map can confirm the requirement of the NOC with the help of longitude and latitude. Proving to be very beneficial for the architects and the people interested in constructing a building.

Out of 3,838 plans sanctioned, 991 have been sanctioned in a day, 1588 in seven days and 931 in fifteen days. 132 occupancy-cum certificates have been delivered online by all the three municipal corporations since the online system got implemented.

Many external departments have also been integrated with online common application form (CAF) module such as National Monuments Authority (NMA), Delhi Jal Board (DJB), DMRC, Delhi Urban Art Commission (DUAC), Chief Inspector of Factory, Heritage Conservation Committee, Delhi Fire Service, and the Airports Authority of India.

By the implementation of this step, the time required for issuance of construction permits is a maximum of 30 days, 15 days are required for processing and sanctioning at the end of municipal corporations and the other 15 days are required for all the NOCs of external agencies.

According to the officials, in any case department fails to decide the case within the designated time, the case will be deemed as sanctioned by the system. Various NOCs required earlier from the external agencies during the sanction of a plan, have now been dispensed with and are no more required for the release of a permit, in order to benefit the consumer.

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Venkaiah Naidu Urges To Correct Land Prices For Low-Cost Homes



Venkaiah Naidu Urges To Correct Land Prices For Low-Cost Homes

M Venkaiah Naidu, Vice President on Thursday mentioned that there is an urgent requirement for correction in the prices of land in order to making home buying affordable for the common man.

He said, “The cost of real estate goes up not because of the cost of construction but because of land prices. There is a need for correction of prices. Prices of land in Indian cities are even sometimes equivalent to prices of Washington and New York. Cost of units is going up not because of the cost of construction but mainly because of the cost of land, land being held by the middlemen. There is a need for correction. Reality has to come in the real estate sector,” while speaking at CREDAI’s real estate conclave 2018 titled Real Estate 2.0, Embracing Change.

Venkaiah Naidu Urges To Correct Land Prices For Low-Cost Homes

He urged the realtors’ apex body, CREDAI to not let any back sheep affect the masses and execute a self-code of conduct to keep all the violators and defaulters at bay. Further adding, he said, “The law alone will not help in dealing with this disease as there are legal ways to fight cases for years together.” The best way is to come up with a voluntary code of conduct and whoever violates the norms, such defaulters should be deterred from any similar activities to happen in the future.

Only taking such actions would improve the credibility and acceptability of CREDAI. Naidu said, “This is the need of the hour for the real estate sector.” He also pointed out that most of them believe that the affordable housing segment will be the force to influence the real estate sector in the coming months owing to the supportive measures taken by the government.

Venkaiah Naidu Urges To Correct Land Prices For Low-Cost Homes

Jaxay Shah, CREDAI’s President said that since 2017, when the members of the realtors’ body were announced, they have been able to develop over 375 affordable housing projects across the country. Around 10 lakh affordable housing units have already been undertaken by Maharashtra and Rajasthan CREDAI members and will be closely monitored by KPMG every three months.

On the first day of the conclave, the realtors’ body has demanded a reduction in the GST and easier bank financing for land purchase to develop affordable housing. Also single-window clearance for real estate project approvals with an aim to boost the sector.

The real estate sector which faced a twist of events in the form of GST, demonetization and the new reality law is undergoing a ‘critical moment’, said Shah. He went on to urge the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs to take these matters up with the government on its behalf.

Proper financing by the banks should be in place to purchase land for affordable housing projects and the area norms should be removed for the middle-income groups in order to accelerate the purchasing power of the people under government’s credit-linked subsidy scheme.

In lines with affordable housing, the GST should also be 8% for the entire sector to create demand for under-construction flats. As the current effective GST rate is 12% after an abatement and no GST on completed flats.

Getamber Anand, CREDAI Chairman, said there should be proper land abatement as the prices of land differ from city to city. Taking this argument further Pankaj Bajaj, CREDAI NCR President suggested that the government can give abatement prices on the basis of circle rate depending on each city.

Other issues raised by the association was the delay in approval of projects, especially with respect to environment clearances. It also said India’s ranking when it comes to ease of doing business will improve further if the government decides to have a single-window clearance.

CREDAI has over 12,000 members in 23 states and 178 city chapters.

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