Supertech twin tower demolition a much needed shake-up for realty in Noida - Hindustan Times
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Supertech twin tower demolition a much needed shake-up for realty in Noida

Aug 26, 2022 04:55 PM IST

The one word that would rise out of the rubble, experts said, would be caution -- going forward, both builders and homebuyers, and the authority will be more vigilant of how realty projects are executed and transactions are carried out

When the Supertech twin towers come crashing down on August 28, in a Supreme Court ordained demolition exercise, its tremors are bound to shake up the real estate sector in the National Capital Region, said experts as the towers in Noida’s Sector 93A are now symbolic of all that could go wrong when builders ignore construction regulations with impunity, in collusion with authority officials, and gullible homebuyers get sold on “tall” promises.

Given that the gross violations in the Supertech twin towers came to the fore only because of the tireless efforts of buyers and residents, it stands to reason that when the towers come down, it will help buyer confidence go up. (Sunil Ghosh/HT Photo)
Given that the gross violations in the Supertech twin towers came to the fore only because of the tireless efforts of buyers and residents, it stands to reason that when the towers come down, it will help buyer confidence go up. (Sunil Ghosh/HT Photo)

The one word that would rise out of the rubble, experts said, would be caution -- going forward, both builders and homebuyers, and the authority will be more vigilant of how realty projects are executed and transactions are carried out in Noida and its adjoining areas.

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SC order restored faith of buyers

Rajive Kumar, chairman of the Uttar Pradesh Real Estate Regulatory Authority (UP-Rera), said by ordering that the 32-storeyhigh buildings be brought down, the Supreme Court has sent a clear message -- that not following rules will cost builders dearly.

“If anyone does not follow the regulations, they will have to face the consequences. UP-Rera issues a registration number to a new realty project only after the developer has sanctioned a layout map from a competent authority. And we upload all certificates related to a realty project on our portal, where buyers can examine them and make an informed choice,” said Kumar.

UP-Rera officials said buyers now have easy access to all documents related to any realty project online. They can check for approvals and then file a complaint if they find discrepancies.

“If there is any violation by the promoter, we take prompt action in accordance with rules. We don’t think realtors will now take a risk and violate building regulations as it will have far-reaching consequences. The demolition of the twin towers will restore the customers’ faith in the sector. They now have faith that their interests will be protected,” said Kumar.

Change in sanctioning building maps

The Noida authority said after the violations in the construction of the twin towers -- Apex and Ceyanne -- came to the fore and the Supreme Court indicted the authority for allowing the violations to take place, it has started approving building maps online using a custom-made software to ensure that there is no room for violations.

To be sure, the judgments of both Allahabad high court and the Supreme Court said besides violating the provisions of the UP Apartment Act 2010, officials of the town planning department also failed to check and ensure a mandatory distance of 16 metres between the two buildings while approving the blueprints.

“Now we use a software to sanction building maps of new projects. This software checks if all provisions of building regulations 2010 are adhered to. For example, if the setback area or distance between two towers is not in accordance with the norms or if any document, such as a fire safety clearance is missing, then the software will not process the application,” said Ishtiyaq Ahmed, chief architect and town planner, Noida authority.

Officials of the Noida authority also said there is a strict edict in place after the Supreme Court order said the twin tower violations were a result of a “nefarious complicity” between the Noida authority and the developer.

“Now, we have directed the staff to follow all ‌building regulations while approving the maps. We have given a clear message that those who violate the rules will face strict action,” said Ahmed.

More vigilant homebuyers

Given that the gross violations in the twin towers came to the fore only because of the tireless efforts of buyers and residents -- it was they who filed the first case in the Allahabad high court in 2012, claiming that several rules were violated in the construction of the towers -- it stands to reason that when the towers come down, it will help buyer confidence go up.

And thanks to their renewed confidence, property rates for ready-to-move-in flats in the region remain unchanged– a point of concern in the realty sector after the twin tower demolition process began–experts said.

“The rates of flats remain unchanged at 4,500- 5,000 per square foot in the area even after the Covid-19 pandemic because homebuyers prefer buying flats that are ready to move in. However, they do not want to buy flats in under-construction housing projects, especially after the Supertech verdict. They fear what might happen when the building gets ready and it does not have all the requisite permission,” said Dev Prakash Tripathi, a property consultant.

Experts said homebuyers and investors are exercising extra caution while buying into under-construction property in Noida, Greater Noida and Yamuna Expressway areas now.

“The Supreme Court’s demolition order was a shocker. Homebuyers have become suspicious of developers, brokers and the Noida authority. They make sure to cross-examine all details of projects now. Unlike earlier, now they want to check relevant documents, take expert advice and only then sign a deal for a flat in Noida and Greater Noida,” said Tripathi.

Homebuyers concur. “After the Supreme Court verdict declared these twin towers illegal, I have decided that when I buy property, I will examine and verify my choice with experts before going ahead,” said Swarnima Singh, a prospective homebuyer in Noida.

Office-bearers of the realtors’ body, Confederation of Real Estate Developers Association of India (Credai), however, insisted that despite the demolition order, homebuyers’ confidence in the realty sector in Noida and Greater Noida is increasing as they now thoroughly examine the approvals of a project before making a deal.

“This incident has had a two-level impact; one, is that officials involved are facing FIRs and the realtor is being punished for violations. The incident has sent a message that such violation will not be tolerated in the future. Two, the strict verdict has resulted in customers trusting the authorities. We have realised that the customers now want to invest in a housing project where they can shift and execute registry with no hassle. If the title is not clear and flat is not ready to move in, then they are reluctant to invest in projects in Noida and Greater Noida,” said Nikhil Havelia, joint secretary of Credai’s Western UP chapter.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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    Vinod Rajput writes on environment, infrastructure, real estate and government policies in Noida and Greater Noida. He has reported on environment and infrastructure in Delhi, Gurgaon and Panchkula in the past.

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