The Ghaziabad development authority (GDA) has fixed the betterment charges for clearance of maps for any construction in the influence zone of metro projects.
Officials from the authority said that it has been decided that the charges will be levied on the basis of difference in circle rates between 2012 and 2014 along with an additional yearly hike as per the cost index.
Betterment charges are levied under the provisions of the UP Urban Planning & Development Act under which the authority can realise up to 33% funds from the influence area of an infrastructure project like metro. The GDA levies betterment charges in the areas falling under the influence zone of metro projects for additional income to fund the projects.
The charges will be realised for clearing a new map or revising an existing one for construction in metro influence zones. The GDA has already defined 500 metres on both sides of the metro alignment over the two routes — operational 2.57-km Vaishali to Anand Vihar line and the under-construction 9.41-km Dilshad Garden to New Bus-Stand metro extensions. The 500-metre limit may extend up to a physical boundary like road, railway tracks or similar major landmarks.
The decision to levy charges was cleared in a board proposal in September 2013. It was decided that the charges will be levied at the rate of 15% on the difference between circle rates of 2012 and 2013.
For instance, an area having a circle rate of Rs 10,000 per sqm in 2012 and Rs 15,000 per sqm in 2013 will attract a a betterment charge of Rs750 per sqm (Rs 5000 x 15%).
“However, it was observed that the maps that came for clearances in 2014 were charged according to the difference of rates between 2012 and 2014. Those who came in 2015 were charged on the basis of the difference between 2012 and 2015. This way, the charges shot up drastically in areas under the influence zones as circle rates are revised every year,” said Ishtiyak Ahmed, authority’s chief architect and town planner.
Officials said due to the high betterment charges, people stopped coming for map clearance and also complained against the high charges.
“Now, we have decided that the difference of the circle rates between 2012 and 2014 will be used to compute the betterment charges at the rate of 15%. The idea is that the betterment charges should not be allowed to be more than the development charges as this will double the burden. Although the base years will remain the same, the charges will only increase yearly in proportion to the rise in the yearly cost index,” Ahmed said.
The authority has taken up 2014 as the base year as it signed the MoU with the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation in June, 2014.