Builders across the country have decided to strike to protest against the delays in approvals for construction projects.
According to the confederation of real estate developers association of India (CREDAI), it will be a day-long strike, and the agitation will be intensified if the demands are not met. Lalit Kumar Jain, President, CREDAI, said: “There is absolutely no coordination between the various government departments, and it takes years to get approvals.”
He said departments such as aviation, environment and archaeology all worked in isolation. CREDAI has asked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to intervene in the matter and offer respite to the realty sector.
The move was prompted after the Maharashtra Chambers of Housing Industry (MCHI) last month cancelled three property exhibitions scheduled this month. It also warned the state government that it would cease all construction activity in the coming days if the state failed to redress its grievances. “Our project costs are going up due to delays, and we are blamed if we hike the rates. We want even the government to become accountable,” said Manohar Shroff, secretary, MCHI (Navi Mumbai).
The real estate industry has been going through a rough phase in the last few months. To prevent large-scale manipulation, both chief minister Prithviraj Chavan and municipal commissioner Subodh Kumar tightened building permission norms, which resulted in the slowing of approvals. In addition to this, the Reserve Bank of India tightened lending norms for home loans and hiked interest rates.
But housing activists say even builders are to be blamed for the crisis. “They have manipulated the system for years and now are facing the consequences,” said advocate Vinod Sampat, a housing activist.