Even as the 'farmland versus real estate' battle is still being fought in court, the state government has proposed to raise the floor area ratio (FAR), which controls the bulkiness of buildings, in Greater Noida.
The benefits of increased FAR - meaning more flats - can be availed even in case of old projects with payment of certain charges to the Greater Noida authority.
This will allow builders to increase the number of houses proposed in Noida Extension from 2.25 lakh to 3.5 lakh on the same quantum of land.
The government is spending huge funds to pay the farmers, who have moved the court seeking their land back, for resumption of projects.
The government has already recovered the amount from builders in lieu of the FAR hike.
The Greater Noida authority, on September 6, had hiked the price of land allotted to the builders. Builders, who were told to pay Rs 2,250 more for per sqm, said they were finding it difficult not to pass on the burden (at least 10% of the house cost) to flat buyers in Noida Extension.
The authority also increased the allotment rates for fresh auctions by 50% in three months, sparking fears of a 40% hike in house costs. The increased FAR is likely to help builders protect buyers to some extent in future projects too.
"At a board meeting held early this month, we had made changes in our building regulations, proposing to hike the FAR from 2.75 to 3.50. We have sought objections and suggestions from the general public in 15 days. We expect to implement the new regulations soon," said a senior official of the Greater Noida authority.
Four years ago, the FAR in Greater Noida was 1.75. But after two years, when the Noida Extension project took shape, it was upped to 2.75 to help builders deliver more units in times of economic slowdown.
The courts have quashed forcible land acquisition done by the authority in Shahberi and Patwari villages, affecting 26,500 houses.