Authorities in Ghaziabad, Noida and Greater Noida are openly violating norms and granting purchasable FAR (floor area ratio) to real estate developers. This despite a clear provision in the UP Apartment Act 2010 stating that a developer shall not make any alterations in the plans, specifications and other particulars without the previous consent of the allottees.
There are more than a dozen group housing projects with hundreds of apartments that are embroiled in various court cases on the issue of illegal sanction of purchasable FAR.
“First the developer gets the original building plan sanctioned from an authority and then sells apartments, promising buyers parks and open green areas. When the project nears completion, the developer gets the building plan amended with approvals for additional apartments,” says Harshvardhan, an RWA office-bearer of Designarch E-homes, a group housing project in Vaishali.
He adds, “So, not only does possession gets delayed, even the additional construction poses a serious threat to the structural safety of the building and the open green areas give way to concrete towers.”
Recently, in another case of building by-laws violation, the Allahabad High Court while ironing out the creases in the UP Apartment Act, delivered a landmark judgment and held that builders cannot change the scheme without the written consent of all the allottees.
RWA officials say that another issue of concern is possession without obtaining completion certificate. The UP Apartment Act categorically says that completion certificate must be obtained and deed of apartment must be executed and registered by builder before giving possession.
“When a developer gets approval for, let’s says 100 flats and constructs 150 flats, the violation can only come to light when he takes completion certificate from the development authority concerned. But instead of taking completion certificate, developers offer possession to buyers. Interestingly completion certificate is not a mandatory document for the registration of apartments. So even illegal flats are getting registered with the revenue department everywhere in Delhi-NCR, says Ashish Kaul, an RTI activist.
Applications filed under the RTI Act by office bearers of the resident welfare associations of many group housing projects in Indirapuram have revealed that developers have built more than the sanctioned number of flats. What is surprising is that even top banks have extended loans to these ‘illegal’ flats, and the revenue department of Uttar Pradesh has collected stamp duty as registration fee from these buyers.
“The reply from GDA has shocked all the 765 families in our group housing project as only 545 flats have been found to be in accordance with the sanctioned plan. We don’t know the exact flat numbers assigned to the 220 unauthorised flats because we didn’t ask for the particulars of the units in our application. Now we are planning to file another application to get these specific details,” says Nisha Rai, a resident of one of the five housing projects in Indirapuram.