The Haryana government approved the transfer of five upscale private colonies to the city’s municipal corporation on Friday. The corporation will now be responsible for the maintenance of 2,872.40 acres developed by private builders.
Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar approved the transfer of DLF phases 1 to 3, Palam Vihar and Sushant Lok Phase 1 to the Municipal Corporation of Gurgaon (MCG). These five colonies were among the first to be developed by private builders in Gurgaon and were launched in the early 1980s.
A spokesperson of the Directorate of Town and Country Planning (DTCP) said that since the developers delivered the maintenance services for over five years, they were directed to transfer these colonies to the MCG. As per the licence agreement, the developers have to maintain these colonies only for five years, after which it could be transferred to a government agency. However, the transfer did not materialise all these years.
The residents’ welfare associations of these colonies have been demanding this transfer as they were unhappy with the services of the developers. Besides, they had to pay maintenance charge to the developer and property tax to the MCG.
Councillor of ward 34 Rama Rani Rathee, who has been spearheading the campaign for transfer of colonies, said, “We have not paid property tax to the MCG for the last eight years because we wanted the transfer to happen.” Once the MCG starts delivering services, the residents won’t mind paying tax, she said.
After the transfer, the MCG will have to provide services such as sanitation, sewage and water supply, and maintenance of open spaces and common areas.
“The transfer is going to take around a month and a half as we will assess the capacity of the developers and what services they were offering. An estimate of work, expenditure and infrastructure gaps will be made prior to the takeover,” Sudhir Chouhan, senior town planner, said.
The developer of Palam Vihar and Sushant Lok 1, Ansal Properties and Infrastructure Ltd, and developer of DLF phases 1, 2 and 3, DLF Universal Ltd, said they would be ready to transfer responsibility to the civic body at the earliest.
Vice-chairman of Ansal Properties and Infrastructure Ltd Pranav Ansal said these colonies had already been handed over to the RWAs and they have been helping them manage the maintenance and other services. “The takeover by MCG is a positive step and we welcome it,” he said.
Speaking on the government’s decision, a DLF spokesperson said the company was happy with the decision. “We have been writing to the authorities for the transfer and this is move in the right direction,” he said.
The DTCP, however, maintained that transfer of maintenance did not mean private developers need not meet the conditions of the licence agreement. This means that Occupation Certificates would be issued to developers only after ascertaining a building’s compliance with all applicable building codes and other laws. According to the DTCP, developers of these colonies have not obtained completion certificates.
On the other hand, some residents were also wary of the move as they expressed little confidence in the abilities of the MCG to maintain modern facilities.